NBL team confirmed
After a 24-year hiatus from the National Basketball League, Tasmania will finally be returning.
At a special Glenorchy City Council meeting this afternoon, aldermen unanimously voted to sell the Derwent Entertainment Centre to the state government for approximately $8 million.
Around $40 million of taxpayer money will be used to bring it up to premier basketball league standard, allowing a licence to be granted and a 10th team to enter the competition for the start of the 2021-2022 season.
NBL Owner Larry Kestelman will lease Wilkinsons Point from the government and build a $200 million retail, restaurant and hotel precinct around the site, expected to be well-underway within 5 years.
The site will stay in public hands until Mr Kestelman is ready to make the full puchase.
Mr Kestelman, alongside Premier Peter Gutwein, Sports Minister Jane Howlett and Glenorchy Mayor Krisitie Johnston made the announcement at the DEC on Friday afternoon.
The project is expected to create around 1200 full-time jobs, adding $102 million a year to the Greater Hobart economy.
Premier Gutwein also confirmed $2 million annually would be chipped by the government to keep the team running.
Launceston will see some action, and other parts of the state haven't been ruled out either.
"We want to make sure this is a team for all of Tasmania," Mr Kestelman said.
"We need to work with the government to make sure the Silverdome is up to standard, but as long as we have what we need to present an NBL game to the world as it should be, we'll take a few games up there."