October 31, 2017 6:53 pm

New pro basketball team to play at Guelph’s Sleeman Centre

The basketball team will play out of the Sleeman Centre during the spring and summer.

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Guelph has been chosen as the first city to host a franchise in the newly-formed Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).

The CEBL was only announced last week, but promises to bring coast-to-coast pro basketball that will be played during the spring and summer.

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The Guelph franchise will play out of the Sleeman Centre, the home of the OHL’s Guelph Storm.

The City of Guelph and the CEBL have been negotiating for about six months and a city spokesperson said the hope is to fill the arena that sits empty for the most part during the Storm’s off-season.

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“It’s generally very quiet, certainly from a ticketed activity event,” said Danna Evans, general manager of Culture, Tourism, and Community with the City of Guelph. “The league’s been talking about [it] in that 1,500 to 2,000 people for expected attendance.”

The Guelph team is currently owned by the league itself, but the goal is to have all franchises owned and managed by local owners.

“There will be an ongoing search for like-minded ownership groups,” said CEBL spokesperson Mario Brazina. “When we do appoint an owner for the Guelph territory, they will be [the] right fit.

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Brazina said a committee hopes to appoint a director of operations for the franchise, and fans will be asked to take part in a contest to name the team.

The league hopes to launch with six teams, however, no dates have been scheduled.

The CEBL will operate in accordance with the player and referee standards set by Canada Basketball and adhere to the International Basketball Federation’s rules and regulations.

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