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With all sports “on hold” for the present time, sports fans last year saw many travel to Abbotsford to watch the Fraser Valley Bandits of the Canadian Elite Basketball League play their inaugural season.

We received the following press release from the CEBL that mentions the delay until June to the start of the 2020 regular season. 

The League has narrowed its playing options in 2020 to a tournament format that removes other contingency plans from further consideration.

They are aiming for a multi-week tournament with all seven clubs competing in a single location in Ontario to play a round robin games. 

This would see the teams play in a single elimination playoff to determine the 2020 league champion, which is at a huge cost to each team as we are told.

It is yet to be finalized and it’s mentioned that the league (CEBL) is in talks with the Niagara area about using the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines for the second half of July and August. 

As one might expect any return must conform to the phased-in re-opening measures  undertaken by Ontario which will be released in the coming weeks.

CEBL Commissioner Mike Morreale “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.” 

He continued “I would like to acknowledge the work of the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Lisa MacLeod, and her staff, as well as the City of St. Catharines with whom we have had positive discussions around potentially being the host site of a tournament. We are optimistic that our league will be a leader in returning pro sports to playing in Canada.”

The CEBL was initially scheduled to begin its second full season on May 7 that would see the league wrap up the 2020 CEBL Championship Weekend August 14-16 with games played in Edmonton.

League Commissioner mentioned “We appreciate the support of Edmonton Events, a strategic partnership between the City of Edmonton and Edmonton Tourism, and the Edmonton EXPO Centre and share their disappointment in the lost opportunity to hold Championship Weekend in Edmonton this year and we look forward to future hosting opportunities in Alberta’s capital in front of our incredible fans.”

All teams will be contacting season ticket holders letting them know what options they have regarding tickets purchased on account for the 2021 season and receive rewards for doing so, or to facilitate a refund on their investment.

Some are unaware that the league exists, but as one media outlet that covers the League and the Fraser Valley Bandits we look forward to the return of exciting CEBL in Abbotsford in the near future.

The league is proud to mention that 80% of the players are Canadian, who in the past have played in  top professional leagues throughout the world.

Teams in the league are located in the following Cities:

  • Edmonton 
  • Fraser Valley (Abbotsford) 
  • Guelph, Hamilton 
  • Niagara (St. Catharines) 
  • Ottawa 
  • Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) 

Last year’s final was played in Saskatoon that saw the Saskatchewan Rattlers defeat the Hamilton Honey Badgers (94 – 83) capturing the league’s first championship title August 25th, 2019.

Last year’s Player of the Year was Xavier Moon of the Edmonton Stingers, while the Canadian Player of the Year was Guillaume Boucard of the Niagara River Lions.

For additional information on the Fraser Valley Bandits please contact them at 604 743 5066

Thanks to Andrew Savory for the ongoing press releases.

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