From basketball Tasmania.
"Tasmania to return to NBL after 25-year break.
The Mercury can reveal the Tasmanian Government and NBL owner Larry Kestelman have finally signed the deal that will see the state re-enter basketball's big league, and the DEC will get its much-needed facelift.
TASMANIA is officially back in the NBL, the DEC will get its much-needed facelift and Hobart’s northern suburbs will receive almost $220 million worth of infrastructure build.
The Mercury can reveal the Tasmanian Government and NBL owner Larry Kestelman have finally signed the deal that will see the state re-enter basketball’s big league, with the announcement to be officially made today.
The first step will be a taxpayer-funded $68.5 million redevelopment of the 30-year-old DEC, including the building of a new $20 million four-court multisport indoor facility next door.
This will open the door for the planning approval process to begin for a $150 million investment from Mr Kestelman’s company, the LK Group, for a shopping, hotel and restaurant precinct at the adjacent Wilkinsons Point.
The deal also includes a $2 million a year State Government sponsorship for at least the first five seasons, and comes after the Glenorchy City Council agreed to sell the DEC to the government for $8 million back in February.
It will be the first time Tasmania has been in the NBL since the demise of the Devils 25 years ago, as well as bringing vital economic stimulus into post-COVID Hobart, Premier Peter Gutwein said.
"This development will unlock significant economic development, attract investment and create hundreds of jobs," Mr Gutwein said.
“This is how we’re rebuilding Tasmania, building on our strengths and providing opportunities for Tasmania, including national league participation, to create new jobs, future investment and economic development.
“We’re proud to be a major sponsor of a Tasmanian NBL team, and the opportunities it provides for grassroots pathways and player development in our state.”
The team will be the NBL’s 10th, and will enter the competition in time for the 2021-22 season.
The deal comes after more than a year of tough negotiations that were also set back by the COVID-19 outbreak that saw a hiatus for more than two months after the in-principle agreement was announced in February.
Some feared the outbreak and the economic impact of coronavirus would kill off the state’s chances.
But Mr Kestelman said it was full steam ahead now for the league’s newest team.
“This is great news for the NBL and the people of Tasmania, who have showed amazing passion to help bring this to life,” he said.
“The final agreement means we can start immediately on the next steps for the planning and upgrade of the DEC, in preparation for a Tasmanian team to take to the court for the start of the 2021-22 season.
“The NBL team will deliver important economic and tourism benefits for Tasmania and bring new jobs and investment to the state.
“Basketball is a global sport, and the NBL team will showcase Tasmania on the national stage and around the world.”
Mr Kestelman said as well as redeveloping the DEC, the process of building the club would now begin in earnest as well.
“This will include engaging with the local community to help choose the name, as well as starting the recruitment of people to lead the club into the future,” he said.
“We will be looking to immediately recruit a CEO to lead the club, and we will work closely with the Tasmanian Advisory Board and the local community to establish a team that all Tasmanians can be proud of, on and off the court.
“We have been encouraged by the interest from corporate Australia in becoming foundation partners of the Tasmanian team.”
Great to hear the good news this morning. I hear that the HC may have already been selected and they will advertise for 2 assistants. Interim COO is on the way too. Not sure how the personell selection process will go but everyone involved in most case is meant to be Tasmanian. Good times ahead.