Sydney Kings owner and chairman Paul Smith hopes the city will once again host the NBL’s second franchise, but warns there are challenges to resolve before that happens. ing.
- Sydney previously had multiple franchises in NBL
- Smith said there would be “major infrastructure challenges” to address if there was a second team in Sydney.
- He admits the Kings would benefit from having a cross-town rival.
Defending NBL champions, the Kings currently dominate the NSW capital, but are also home to other league franchises, including the West Sydney Razorbacks.
This season, the NBL has attracted a healthy crowd and encouraged TV viewership. Kings at the top of the table played a role in increasing interest in the competition.
To capitalize on this newfound interest, the formation of a second Sydney franchise is being talked about in basketball circles, and Smith isn’t against it.
However, Smith said the introduction of another Sydney-based team would need to clear several hurdles before being given the go-ahead.
“It’s inevitable,” he told ABC Sports.
“But there are some challenges … They believe they have to grow and develop the market, another geographic area of Sydney.
“I think there are some major infrastructure challenges in that regard.”
Smith said Sydney has “definite growth corridors” for the expansion team.
He said Sydney’s cross-town rivalry could benefit the NBL.
“The local derby is great. They sell tickets, they generate interest … It really drives that passion, we need it and basketball can deliver it,” Smith said.
“So I think it will happen. I don’t know if it will happen. It’s beyond my pay grade. But we’re not against it.”
“We are simply real about some of the infrastructure challenges that can arise around it.”
The Kings will begin the next phase of their championship defense when they face the Cairns Taipans in a best-of-three play-off series that begins in Sydney on Wednesday night.
The winner will face the New Zealand Breakers or Tasmania Jackjumpers in the Championship Series.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-12/nbl-kings-believe-second-sydney-franchise-inevitable/101963678 Kings admit second Sydney NBL franchise ‘inevitable’ but warn challenges lie ahead