A new professional basketball league was launched earlier this month, and people have already bought into a Seattle franchise.
The North American Premier Basketball League will be starting with about a dozen teams.
David Magley, who is the former commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada, will serve as the league’s president and chief operating officer.
The league’s first season will be from January to April of 2018, with 32 games.
Seattle’s franchise is currently owned by people from Toronto, who are looking for local ownership partners. They are looking for local business owners willing to contribute up to $200,000.
“Every major country and area in the world has multiple levels of pro-basketball. Whether that’s Asia, Europe or South America, there’s – every country has a bunch of leagues, except for North America,” Magley said.
He said many cities used to have Continental Basketball Association (CBA) teams, before the National Basketball Association formed the National Basketball Development League (now known as the NBA Gatorade League) as a forum to develop players and referees.
Magley said those cities lost their teams and still have the fan base to support a professional men’s team.
“Then there’s markets in Montana and North Dakota that used to be CBA and D-League markets that no longer have it. There’s Yakima, Washington. There could be Tacoma, Washington. There could be Bellingham,” Magley said.
Owners have already bought into a Seattle franchise, and Magley is looking for an existing venue that can hold between 2,000 and 5,000 people.
He said players would make between $1,500 and $5,000 per month during the season, in addition to housing.
Tryouts in Seattle are on Sept. 30.
Other cities expected to have teams for the first season include Vancouver, B.C.; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Hilo, Hawaii; Albany, New York; and Rochester, New York.
Brooks Salazar and Bea Querido-Rico are running for different positions of the Port of Seattle commission. Their platforms include support for a new SoDo Arena, as a way of enticing an NBA team back to Seattle.
Both Salazar and Querido-Rico told KIRO 7 they feel a minor league team could be good for the community, especially if it helps bring attention to Seattle as a city ripe for an NBA team.
“It may help in the long run, because it might get basketball going really big in this city again, but the people of Seattle and King County – we’re used to having a major league basketball team. And now we’re getting a minor league team,” Salazar said. “That might be a let-down. It all depends. If it gets the wheel started, and we get a team faster, so be it. But I think we want an NBA team. We want our Sonics back.”
Magley said that if the NBA brings a team to Seattle in the future, he would take his team to another city in Washington state.
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