With the NBL Canada's annual owners meeting set for this week in Toronto, one thing that will be discussed will be the expansion of the league. And the only bid that has been accepted to this point in full is a group that is looking to bring a team to Windsor. Can Ball Ray gives his two cents on the bid that is awaiting formal approval ...
After a great first showing for the National Basketball League of Canada this past winter, the talk of expansion became the first thing that I think some people were expecting to happen.
And it seems that after five cities came forward to propose bids the NBLC has approved a possible expansion team to the city of Windsor for the coming season. This would round out the total teams to an even eight teams and possibly divide the league into a two division set up. I would imagine that the Ontario teams of Oshawa, London and the expansion Windsor franchise along with Quebec City would make the most geographic sense to put together with the four Maritime teams of Saint John, Summerside, Moncton and Halifax making up the other.
I think I like this outlook right here.
The introduction of one team to the league is something I had wrote about a few weeks ago as the best form of expansion at this point. The slow introduction of more teams is in my opinion the best way to ensure that the league isn't stretching itself thin with too much too soon. This has been a symptom of various minor basketball leagues in the last decade and that has caused them to flounder and in some cases shut down (see the ABA for instance).
I'm sure that league president Andre Levingston and his team in the front office have weighed the many factors with regards to this Windsor group and have found them to be stable. As I've said before, stability of the league down the road shouldn't be compromised for quick growth and I think that the league and Levingston are looking to stick to that motto.
As a fan of the game who wants to see this league succeed, I appreciate this.
There is nothing worse for a fan, and a business for that matter, to have a product that is functioning at less than 100% all the time. That takes away from the confidence in the product and that confidence is something that is very difficult to regain.
With that in mind, I am rooting for the Windsor expansion group to get the formal approval for the bid this week.
According to the above link, the Windsor group will be heading to Toronto on Wednesday for the NBLC's annual meeting to state their case for the team and all signs are posting to the league giving the go ahead. As per the story above, the group seems to have all things in place so approval seems like it could be a formality.
There was talk of another group from Mississauga, ON having been given an extension to finalize details for an expansion bid but there has been no news of anything on this front since the story was posted that I could find online. to be honest, I don't know if two NBLC teams could be supported right now in the greater Toronto area since competition for the public's attention goes through the Leafs, Raptors, Toronto Rock, Toronto Marlies, Oshawa Generals and Mississauga Ice Dogs in the NBLC season. And in Mississauga's case, they are closer to Toronto than Oshawa making the competition that much more difficult. Plus, moving to two expansion teams puts the teams at an uneven number and then you have to think about another expansion team possibly for the next, next season. And is the league looking to move in that direction in the immediate future?
For the time being, I think this move to have one definite expansion team is a positive thing. At this point anything more would be overkill in my opinion. If on that minute chance that Windsor is not getting that franchise, I would imagine that no team would be coming in but that doesn't seem likely.
I think for now we will just be waiting for the official word that Windsor is entering the league this week.