Dazz
Years ago

So what really happened to the Crocs?

Sorry to rehash an old topic, I couldn't find the old thread.
Does anyone have any further information on the specifics of what brought Townsville undone?

Was the new salary cap provisions simply too high? Could they have survived under the old system?
Or would they have been expecting a subsidy under the new system?

Was the NBL subsidising them, and if so was that withdrawn and why?

How much pressure to drop them came from Fox?
Telecasters have NEVER liked their venue,
the ratings for Crocs games must be the lowest in the league,
and this way there are no extra games to be televised as part of their agreement to show all.

How far back was this decided by the NBL?
I always found it curious that there was no announcement about games for a supposed 9 team season.

I'm a great believer than any new team must be able to demonstrate financial backing. But at the same time, losing a team that has been around for 20+ years is a big disappointment.
I also find it curious that the NBL seems happy to re-launch Brisbane on wing and a prayer, hoping that backers will materialise, whilst in the same breath pulling the plug on the Crocs.

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Isaac  
Years ago

Probably many of the above. They were being propped up, the league would rather prop up a team in Brisbane, etc. They could have fared better in a 3-import league perhaps but still not ideal.

IMO, the NBL is currently a house of cards.

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D4444  
Years ago

Foxtel wanted a team in Brisbane so the NBL made sure they got one

Sentimentality aside, nobody really cared about having team in Townsville except for those they employed and a handful of fans who actually attended games.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

The new rules for next season are a joke. PLus the Chinese expansin in 2 years is even more laughable. Who knows whether Kestleman will even be involved by then. Maybe he he recommitted to another 2 years now, might show some solidity finally.
The reality is he is committed to one more season after this one.

Crocs fans of recent years simply didn't turn up. The TEC earlier on agreed drop their fees when they 1st were on the brink and never did, hence the move to a tin shed and no crowd.

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Lab067  
Years ago

Hearsay coming up:
1. The writing appeared on the wall when they dropped Conklin. I believe that was 99% due to not having enough money for his full contract and the league not wanting to help out.

2. The fan base was decimated over the last few years. I believe this started with the decision to not support local lad Kelvin Robertson back from injury. I would say he would have ended up being fringe boomers if he continued his form. Side note - I played with him in the Townsville rep teams as a junior - wayyyy above the rest and a nice guy to boot. A lot of the fans switched to the Townsville Fire - and now look how they are going!

3. This is just a personal bugbear, but caving in to the Phoenix suns having a whinge over our logo/name and changing to the crocs really pissed a lot of foundation supporters off.

4. There is plenty of money in Townsville to fund an NBL team. No one is interested anymore.I heard they only needed 500k to underwrite the team for next season... that's pocket change and the inability to raise that must reflect very poorly on the board.

5. The NBL just couldn't stomach having 3 teams in QLD and 1 in VIC, so why keep funding the Crocs would have been the logic. They'd probably rather spend that money on a TAS or overseas team.

All very sad. I was a season ticket holder when they were the Suns and also lost interest after a couple of seasons after the became the crocs... just didn't seem to be the local team anymore.

my 2c.

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PeterJohn  
Years ago

"IMO, the NBL is currently a house of cards"

Agree. Year 2 of the 3 year plan. As the investor risking the money, Kestleman must be looking for the league to move a long way towards becoming viable in its own right, this coming season.

The dice are rolling.

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Haz  
Years ago

Small town - uphill battle to sign free agents, quality sponsors and broadscaters don't look favourably towards regional teams.

What do small towns have going for them? Good fan engagement, strong community spirit and are generally well liked and well known in their town. See Cairns as the perfect example.

Unfortunately not enough people in Townsville cared anymore, and their community appeal ended. So, little benefit for the league or the Crocs to keep going. If they were in West Sydney (for example) with the current support base, they would at least have a big market to work with to get better.

Regional teams only work if they get local support to justify them being there. Without that, no point.

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Bear  
Years ago

The regional team, must have local community support statement is crucial in regards to what ultimately caused the Croc's demise IMHO also.

Quite a few points made already on this thread, justifiably they would all have had their play on this ending, however, given the circumstance that the crowd and local support had stayed at a high level, no way the Croc's fold...

That is regardless of the ultimate plan, which appears to lead the NBL towards major city teams in the future.

Side note, any investments into the Asian market right now is too early and could be a huge disaster in my view!!!

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Anonymous  
Years ago

The NBL moved to major teams back in the last century when they got rid of Geelong, Hobart and the Gold Coast. rest assured it f the NBL survives in the distant future, it will be a capital city NBL only. Possibly less Adelaide as well.

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Speed44  
Years ago

^ This is one of the reasons why I began to, and now have completely lost interest in the NBL. When I first got into the league, it was the only national league and it still would be today. WA, SA, TAS, VIC, ACT, NSW, and QLD. I was pissed when HOB, GEEL and GC got kicked out, but I understood the decision at the time, hoping they'd eventually be back. Then NEW and CAN were gone and I saw the capital city future.

This is just me, but I have zero interest in a BRIS, SYD, SYD, MELB, MELB, PER league. I loathe small leagues, too many repeat games. If that's the way it's going, and what "the people" want, then they can have it. I couldn't think of anything more dull personally. I don't care if it's what the TV stations want, I won't be watching.

If "Capital City league" eventually means 4 teams in SYD, 5 in MELB etc, then I'd still be uninterested. We have the AFL and the laughable NRL for this "national league" model.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Yes 10? Vic teams in the AFL is another joke. Is Kestleman running that league too?

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Bear  
Years ago

Must say I enjoyed being able to watch the NBL on Foxtel this past season, however I also have lots of respect for SEABL, which is the basketball league I think could be expanded on further in this country...

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Anonymous  
Years ago

I'll write a book one day.

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Isaac  
Years ago

Agree. Year 2 of the 3 year plan. As the investor risking the money, Kestleman must be looking for the league to move a long way towards becoming viable in its own right, this coming season.
I don't know that they're doing enough about making clubs sustainable. Doesn't sound like TV is going to provide them with money any time soon.

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paul  
Years ago

That's why they’re pushing hard for a team in China that brings broadcast dollars. There just aren’t enough viewers in Australia at this point to generate a decent TV deal.

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Bear  
Years ago

How will the 'China Market' work financially for the NBL Paul, do you have any clue, because it worries the hell out of me?

What possible interest do they have in our game here, especially when the NBA is so accessible?

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D4444  
Years ago

I think they are still at the "collect underpants" stage of planning Bear.

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Bear  
Years ago

Yeah, right, anyway I thought I'd have a scout and came up with an interesting article about the popularity of hoops in China here for anyone interested:

http://www.yoyochinese.com/blog/learn-mandarin-chinese-china-sport-culture-basketball-popularity-in-china

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paul  
Years ago

It's not about them having an interest in the NBL, it's them having an interest in a Chinese team playing in the NBL.

There is a huge appetite for watching Chinese basketball, as shown by the ratings from the recent series.

It's a big if at this point, but if the NBL can successfully get a Chinese team playing, with some Chinese players in their main rotation, they should be able to reap some broadcast and sponsorship rewards from that.

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Bear  
Years ago

So, very speculative, no worries kind of what I suspected (was concerned about)...

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D4444  
Years ago

There is no doubt that basketball has a huge following in China (I remember when I was there 10 years ago most factories has a court in their grounds for staff to play in breaks) but I think that the plan to have a Chinese team playing in the NBL will attract a big $ TV deal is highly suspect.

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Isaac  
Years ago

Yes, it's as Paul outlined. A team with a few Chinese players, some imports and Australians. Big budget proposed from the Chinese side. Then it gives the viewers in China an interest in our league.

The motivation for someone to spend up on a team in our league is less clear.

Then after you're on TV in China, you have to find another set of sponsors unless your existing ones will gain much from that exposure.

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Bear  
Years ago

It is the added travel expenses and logistics that concerns me, primarily!

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paul  
Years ago

They've already been in discussions with TV networks who are interested, and once it's on TV there the sponsorship opportunities are far greater than anything available to basketball here.

I have no doubt there will be serious revenue available if they get it done, it's getting it done to the satisfaction of the CBA and FIBA, then putting together a competitive team with enough Chinese contributors that is the hard part. Get that right and travel expenses will be a drop in the ocean.

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Bear  
Years ago

Sustainability?

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paul  
Years ago

Well if you got a multi-year commitment from the CBA and a Chinese network it would be more sustainable than almost any other part of the NBL, which simply isn't sustainable in its current form.

As I said though, it's getting that correct set-up done that’s the hard part, but if 30 mill watched the recent series that wouldn’t have hurt those chances at all. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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