NBL Tasmania Advisory Board Member David Bartlett says he has “never been more confident” Tasmania will have an NBL team.
The NBL has stated their intentions of locating the league’s 10th team in Tasmania and have recently grown its footprint across the state.
Last year’s pre-season NBL Blitz tournament took place across Tasmania while Tasmanian teams Hobart Chargers, Launceston Tornadoes and North-West Thunder compete in NBL1 South.
With negotiations ongoing, Bartlett, who is also a former Premier of Tasmania, is feeling positive about the potential expansion.
“At this point in time, I have never been more confident that Tasmania will have an NBL team back here,” Bartlett told The SEN NBL Show.
“While I’m feeling confident, you never know until the deal is actually done. All of the indications from (NBL Owner) Larry Kestelman’s people, Larry himself, from our new Premier Peter Gutwein, our government, our new sports minister, the local government that currently owns the Derwent Entertainment Centre and are looking to sell it, all the indications are more positive than I’ve ever seen.”
Bartlett also explained how basketball is booming in Tasmania, with an NBL team to enhance that growth.
“The Blitz was a wild success down here and frankly the Chargers, over the last three-four years (in the state league), have built crowds from 300 to 4,500 at the Preliminary Final in 2018, probably the biggest crowd for basketball in Tasmania since the Devils,” Bartlett said.
“Basketball has never been stronger in Tasmania and there’s never been a better time to put an NBL franchise back here.”
Fans can pledge their support for an NBL team in Tasmania by going to nbltas.com.au.
Listen to the latest edition of The SEN NBL Show with Jack Heverin, Peter Hooley, Brisbane Bullets’ Lamar Patterson, Melbourne United’s Melo Trimble and David Bartlett in the player below