Basketball New Zealand has today announced the 2020 Sal’s NBL 18IN18 season will be played in full at the Pulman Arena in south Auckland with free entry for young Kiwis.
Supported by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council, the 18-day event featuring 18 successive games will see all six National Basketball League teams playing all regular season games and finals in Auckland.
The teams set to battle it out for the creatively named 18IN18 will be Etco Auckland Dream, Capital Swish, Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats, Platinum Homes Harbour Breeze, Firebrand Otago Gold Rush and Waikato Wizards.
“We’re delighted to be staging another premium basketball event in Auckland,” said NBL General Manager Justin Nelson. “Not only is Auckland home to a fantastic basketball community but, when it comes to staging events and welcoming people into their city, Auckland does it so exceptionally well. That was evident at the recent Sal’s NBL Showdown earlier this year.
“We can’t wait to call Pulman Arena our home for the event, it’s an outstanding facility for players and supporters. It is a sporting hub for the community and we very much want to enjoy our time in and around the south Auckland community in particular.”
ATEED Head of Major Events, Richard Clarke, said the 18IN18 was an exciting addition to Auckland’s vibrant spring and summer events programme.
“There is a real appetite for live sporting content and this competition will provide Aucklanders the chance to watch the country’s best in action.
“Basketball is a great spectacle from the stands and on television, and we’re delighted that south Auckland will be the hub for the season. Not only will it showcase one of our best sporting venues, but also our region as a top destination for events,” Clarke said.
The season will commence on Thursday 19 November and conclude on Sunday 6 December with all 18 games being broadcast live on Sky Sport.
Auckland is no stranger to women’s basketball with the 2019 FIBA Olympic Qualifiers staged in West Auckland, where the Sky Sport Tall Ferns clashed with China, South Korea and the Philippines.
In another exciting initiative to help welcome fans back to elite level sport, all juniors under the age of 18 will receive free entry to every regular season game at the Sal’s NBL 18IN18, while adult tickets will be available for just $10.
“We really want young Kiwi females to come along especially – we are trying to attract more girls to the game of basketball. This event is about showcasing basketball and showing that there is a pathway for girls in New Zealand. We’ve chosen to make this really affordable for families so their kids don’t miss out on a great night of basketball,” says Nelson.
“We’ll make sure the finals are affordable as well with the kids being able to get a seat for just $5. We don’t want families coming to just one or two games, we want them enjoying as much basketball as they can handle over the 18 days.”