After a unanimous vote in both countries, the Belgian Pro Basketball League and Dutch Basketball League clubs have decided to take the next step towards the creation of a BeNeLeague as of the 2021-2022 season.
This next move is the result of a three-month process under the guidance of Dutch company Hypercube during which numerous meetings were held with the most important stakeholder groups involved in an eventual BeNeLeague. Discussions were held with clubs, but also partners, press, rights holders and federations. A fan survey was also organized to which 1200 fans from both countries responded.
A number of working groups will now be formed to treat the most important aspects of the collaboration from a sports, commercial and financial point of view. Also in the area of regulations such as licensing terms both leagues will be looking to grow closer together. Finally an efficient organizational model will need to be set up including the operational functioning.
The final decision by clubs of both countries will be made in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the event of a positive decision, we can look forward to the start of the BeNeLeague mid-September 2021.
Ramses Braakman, Dutch Basketball League president: “The DBL clubs and board are always looking to improve quality from a sports, commercial and organizational point of view. Many have also long desired to increase the number of clubs in the league. We feel that a combined competition with the Belgian league will contribute largely to our ambitions. We’re especially looking forward to the next steps.”
Arthur Goethals, Pro Basketball League president: “We are delighted about the enthusiasm in both leagues in order to create a great product. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders who have collaborated to the process so far. Much work has been done under the guidance of Hypercube, but the real work is only just beginning. Important steps now have to be taken these next few months in order to create a good basis for a great BeNeLeague as of the 2021-2022 season. In the meantime preparations are under way for the 2020-2021 EuroMillions Basketball League season. Clubs are deliberating on how to offer more basketball to fans after the current season was cancelled last week. An earlier start to the season with more games is among the options. More news to come at the end of April.”