Fraser Valley Bandits won’t play CEBL home games in 2020

The Canadian Elite Basketball League is looking at a tournament in Ontario for its 2020 ‘season’

If the Canadian Elite Basketball League hits the court at all in 2020, it’ll be with a vastly different look than 2019.

In its latest update, the pro hoops league says the only option still on the table is a multi-tournament that would see the Fraser Valley Bandits and six other CEBL clubs gather in a single location in Ontario to play a round-robin slate of games, culminating in a single elimination playoff to determine the 2020 league champion.

The league is in discussions with Niagara area officials about the availability of the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines for the second half of July and August.

READ MORE: Start of the season delayed for Canadian Elite Basketball League

READ MORE: Fraser Valley Bandits ready for start of 2020 CEBL campaign

“We have been working closely with public health and government officials in developing numerous contingency plans, knowing that ultimately any actions we may take will be dictated by protocols they create to ensure the safety of players, coaches, venue staff, and league officials,” said CEBL Commissioner Mike Morreale. “We are optimistic that our league will be a leader in returning pro sports to playing in Canada.”

The CEBL originally planned to open its second season May 7, and carry on through mid-August.

The league pushed back the start of the season to June, but games still can’t be played in the current COVID-19 climate.

Teams around the league are contacting ticket buyers to inform them of their options to hold their tickets on account for the 2021 season and receive rewards for doing so, or to facilitate a refund on their investment.

The CEBL has franchises in Abbotsford, Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, Niagara (St. Catharines), Ottawa, and Saskatoon. Eighty per cent of the players are Canadians who play in the top professional leagues overseas and in the NBA G League during the traditional basketball season.


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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