The SportingJournal

Extinguished Blaze

Today, the National Basketball League announced that the 2012/2013 iiNet Championship season will see the NBL return to 8 competing teams as the owners of the Gold Coast Blaze franchise elected to withdraw their NBL licence.

Earlier in the off-season, it was revealed the Blaze had a debt of $12 million dollars owing to various groups including players. The Blaze elected to go into voluntary administration in hopes of keeping their future alive.

Basketball Australia issued the deadline of July 13 to the Blaze organisation to prove they were financially secure to not only compete in the upcoming season but to remain as an NBL licensed franchise. Upon reaching the deadline the Blaze proposed a community driven business model (similar to the successful community models of the Cairns Taipans and Wollongong Hawks) funded by a $500,000 investment, to Basketball Australia  who welcomed the model strongly. BA however, still needed further evidence to support the future of the Gold Coast Blaze and issued a new deadline of July 31 for the Blaze to confirm their funds for the new model.

The deadline was to never be met as the Blaze owners informed Basketball Australia and the NBL that they have elected to terminate their license. The Blaze join former NBL franchise, the Gold Coast Rollers and other former NBL teams in the long list of teams that could have and should have worked.

Today is a sad day for NBL fans and Basketball in south-eastern Queensland (now with no NBL teams) as we face another set-back in Australian basketball’s return to the glory days, last seen in the 1990’s.

The demise of the Gold Coast Blaze reminds us how important it is to support your team and help them create their future. YouTube sensation “Melbourne Tigers Fan Weekly” (Facebook: MelbTigersFanWeekly ) provide Tigers news and opinions straight from fans themselves, showing us the NBL has a strong fan base meaning we could see the return of the Blaze and even the long anticipated return of the Brisbane Bullets, The glory days are still in the eye sights of fans!

Cover image: nbl.com.au

Matthew Brokenbrough

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