CEBL Expands To Ottawa

Photo Credit CBC

This past fall Sportswave had the opportunity to cover the Fraser Valley Bandits in the Canadian Elite Basketball League and were not disappointed.

While the local team came up short the level of play is exceptional and whats even better is that they actually engage with the fans, unlike other teams or clubs.

We are hearing that despite the fact it was the first season with the new league they are open to expansion officially introducing the Ottawa BlackJacks as the newest addition to the league.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League entered into a multi-year agreement with Ottawa’s TD Place as the home for the Ottawa BlackJacks its inaugural season in 2020. 

The BlackJacks add to the current six-team single entity ownership league that officially “tipped-off” in 2019 and owned by Richard Petko.

The BlackJacks represent the first expansion franchise for Canada’s only First Division Pro Basketball League and joins Edmonton, Guelph, Fraser Valley, Hamilton, Niagara and the current reigning champion, Saskatchewan. 

Their inaugural season schedule will officially be released November 26 as part of the release for the entire CEBL season schedule. 

The CEBL have officially began looking at hiring senior administration personal for the BlackJacks and the Coaching staff and training camp information will be released in the next while.

If you live in the area and want your “three point basket” early the BlackJacks first season ticket drive was launched in conjunction with the announcement. 

Cheaper than an NHL, NFL or CFL ticket as with a $50 non-refundable deposit it is your guarantee for access to celebrity, courtside and lower bowl tickets at TD Place. 

I am also hearing that there is a limited-edition Ottawa BlackJacks official New Era team T-shirt available and if you wish additional info prior to the “tip-off”  visit

Flex and Voucher Packs, Group Tickets and Single-Game Tickets will go on sale in early 2020.

Wondering why they chose that name, well I am hearing that it is named after the most elusive jackrabbit on the planet. 

While the Ottawa BlackJacks won’t be in hibernation you will see them take plenty of “jump shots” to grab your attention on the big screen. 

It’s mentioned that the BlackJacks (rabbit) are incredibly fast reaching speeds in excess of 70 K’s per hour and outrun many of its opponents or prey. 

Tremendous leapers, the BlackJacks have very strong legs and can jump more than 10 feet, which is the same height as a basketball net. 

Due to the fact that Ottawa is a large and diverse basketball community, it’s hoped that the BlackJacks will increase attendance and outgrow their opponents. 

Mike Morreale, CEO and Commissioner, Canadian Elite Basketball League stated “The CEBL is thrilled to welcome the Ottawa BlackJacks to its roster of professional basketball clubs. Ottawa/Gatineau and the surrounding area has a history of basketball excellence. The game was invented in Almonte, which is about 40-minutes west of the city.  We look forward to bringing a family-oriented, basketball and entertainment experience to the Arena at TD Place. This relationship ensures the sustainability of the team and delivers another club for the legion of sports fans in the Ottawa area to rally behind.”

In addition to these comments Mark Goudie, President and CEO, OSEG stated “We are excited to welcome the Ottawa BlackJacks to TD Place, the organization that manages the city’s downtown sports and entertainment venue and its surrounding Lansdowne lifestyle district. With the men’s and women’s U SPORTS Final 8 Championships coming to TD Place in March, it’s a perfect time to add professional basketball to our local sports landscape. The BlackJacks deliver high-end play on the court and a modern vibe in the air so it’s going to be something very new and exciting for the fans in our region.”  

Sportswave wishes them all the best in their inaugural season of play, but hoping our Bandits steal your game play!!

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave