Guelph pro basketball team announces it will play the 2021 season
KITCHENER -- The Guelph Nighthawks announced on Thursday afternoon that the team's league will be starting this spring.
In a news release, the team said that the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) would be pushing back the start of its season from mid-May to June 5 in an effort to accommodate the chance of fans attending more games.
As a result, the league will play a 14-game season. Normally the regular season is 20 games.
"We are a community-focused team. We value the role we play here at home, and returning back to our roots is an incredibly important next step for our club," said team President Cameron Kusch in a news release.
"While the return of our fans to the Sleeman Centre remains under the guidance of the government, the Nighthawks returning to Guelph will allow us to get back to providing an impactful role in our community."
The first half of the Nighthawks' season will feature just three home games, starting the year with two in a row.
The club noted that there was uncertainty around the regulation of people attending events and noted that some people may not be comfortable attending this year.
The team has a policy in place for 2020 and 2021 ticketholders, which it details in depth on its website.
This year, the team's regular season will wrap up on Friday, Aug. 6.
The KW Titans, who play in the National Basketball League of Canada, say it's not financially feasible for them to play without fans.
Last March, the Titans suspended the rest of their season due to the pandemic.
"We definitely miss it," coach Cavell Johnson said. "This is our lives."
Half the teams in their league are out east.
However, the Nighthawks league has three out of seven teams in western Canada.
"We're excited to have our fans there with us, whether that's watching us on their TV screens or there live," Kusch said.
Titans' owner Leon Martin said the league may be able to start again in December.