A deal bringing professional basketball to Ottawa is a slam dunk for the city, said the owner of the National Basketball League of Canada's newest team.
Gus Takkale, a 38-year-old Orléans businessman and motivational speaker, announced that fans will be able to attend their first game at Scotiabank Place in Kanata sometime in September or October of 2013.
“This is electrifying, drive-to-the-net, in your face, slam-dunk ball,” said Takkale during a press conference today, Nov. 21, at Scotiabank Place, the home court of the yet-to-be named team.
Takkale, the co-owner and president of Bytown Sports and Entertainment Inc., is inviting fans to submit suggestions for the team’s name.
The franchise will announce the team’s name by the end of 2012 and unveil the team’s logo and brand name by the end of February 2013. It will hire a coach in the spring and start picking up free agents and draft players in the summer.
The team will have a 12-man roster and a salary cap of $150,000.
Ticket prices haven’t been set yet, but should range between $20 to $95 for upper-level to courtside seats, said Takkale, who hopes to attract between 3,500 to 8,000 fans to each home game.
“We are ecstatic to be able to bring our brand of ball to Ottawa,” said Ian McCarthy the founder of the eight-team basketball league.
Mayor Jim Watson welcomed the new basketball franchise to the city.
“A professional basketball team is a great way to build civic pride,” said Watson. “I’m confident that Ottawans have a passion for basketball.”