NBL franchise Halifax Rainmen could be saved

NBLWhile the NBL plays second fiddle to ice hockey in Canada, Basketball is still an important part of the community in some provinces. Take Nova Scotia for example, where the Halifax Rainmen have been going through plenty of woe. However, the business community in Halifax is refusing to let its NBL franchise die and a consortium is readied to purchase the Rainmen ahead of the 2015/2016 season.

The Rainmen struggled to attract fans all season, recording the poorest attendance record in the NBL. The campaign capitulated in Game 7 of the championship round (after finishing Atlantic League champs) when Halifax walked out after a pre-game brawl on the court. Earlier this month things went from bad to worse when the franchise declared bankruptcy, jeopardizing its position in the NBL through 2015/2016.

With the Rainmen on the brink local businessmen have stepped in with a bid to purchase the team, with the deal almost cut:

‘The status is that everything looks real good. We are waiting for the bankruptcy process to come to fruition, which should happen in the next week and a half. We then can enter into a formal agreement with the people we’re talking to that are new owners for the organization. The stakeholders would love to announce who they are and all that stuff but we really can’t (until the bankruptcy process is complete). Once that’s done, we’ll be expecting, at the very latest, by early August to have an announcement.’ – Dave Magley, NBL Commissioner

Former Rainmen owner, Andre Levingston, has struggled for a long time to keep the franchise running, mainly due to a lack of funding. He tried until the end to keep the financial clock ticking and even upped the budget midway through last season to attract better players. On the court the move worked, but attendances continued to be low and the bottom end sunk enough for bankruptcy to be filed.

While the business group interest in purchasing the team remains anonymous, Magley insists that the consortium has more than enough financial clout to put the franchise on a sound footing.

‘It’s the quality of (ownership) people – meaning their background and their history – and the numbers of people that are now showing interest to work with them.’

With the organization financially secure it seems as though the Rainmen will continue to be a fixture in the NBL for the company years. What the new owners will do to increase game day revenue and attendance is a problem that still needs to be solved.

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