NBL Media: Update On New Franchise Applications

What will the Sal’s NBL look like in 2020? How many teams will be participating? With expressions of interest for new franchise applications closing on Friday April 12, it’s a good time to check in and get the latest news on the process.

NBL Media caught up with General Manager of the League, Justin Nelson.

What has the reaction been like to the recent launch of the new franchise application process?

JN: Really positive, lots of phone calls and questions, which has led to very positive discussions. The Sal’s NBL is viewed as a very strong competition, arguably the region’s strongest during the winter months, and with the Southern Huskies now a part of the League, some of the calls that have been coming in extend beyond the shores of New Zealand.

Where do you expect applications will come from, what regions?

JN: Good question, you never fully know until the first stage of the process, an expression of interest, arrives on your desk. However, when gauging where the calls and questions have been coming from, I think you can expect interest will possibly come from the Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga regions. Plus, there has been interest shown on the South Island as well.  

There has been some talk about the possibility of a second Australian team – has any interest come from Australia?

JN: Yes there has been, but of course it’s small steps. I think you will find many clubs in Australia will watch the Huskies with enormous interest during 2019 to gauge the level of competition on offer. As to whether or not any expressions of interest from Australian clubs will land with us by April 12, I can’t answer that right now.

Once expressions of interest have been lodged, what happens next?

JN: Those who submit an expression of interest by April 12 will be informed by April 26 if we require them to submit a formal bid document, which is essentially the next stage of the process. Formal bids will be due by May 31 and from there we will make the required decisions and formally announce in late July if any new franchises will be joining the Sal’s NBL in season 2020.

Link to Franchise Application document -


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