Reed & Write: Expansion & Erie
D-League President Dan Reed blogs about the D-League's expansion to Erie.
Erie, PA, March 18, 2008 – Erie, Pennsylvania has been awarded an NBA Development League franchise, it was announced today at a press conference at Bayfront Convention Center in Erie. The team will join Reno, NV -- which was awarded a D-League franchise on Feb. 29 -- for their inaugural seasons in 2008-09.
“When we decided to pursue the opportunity to acquire and start-up an NBA D-League franchise, we immediately knew Erie would be a fantastic location. Erie is clearly a ‘basketball town’ and the entire community -- led by the various city officials -- opened their arms and welcomed the new opportunity,” said Steve Demetriou on behalf of the Erie NBA D-League ownership group. “We truly believe that this new team will be a successful, winning and enjoyable long-term professional sports entertainment venue for the Erie community.”
Like Reno, Erie’s NBA affiliations will not be determined until this summer. Erie will be associated with two or three NBA teams that can assign their first and second-year players to their affiliate a maximum of three times per season. This season the NBA has assigned over 30 players to the D-League, giving young players a chance to further develop through valuable playing time.
“Our league is growing every day - not only are we adding two new teams for the '08-09 season, but attendance is up over 20 percent, ticket sales and sponsorship revenues are up, and more and more people are tuning in online to watch our games,” said D-League President, Dan Reed. “I'm excited and proud to welcome Erie into the NBA and D-League family, and anticipate that the community will embrace our elite NBA-caliber brand of basketball, enjoy our entertaining and affordable fan experience, and welcome the positive impact our players and staff will have in the community.”
Tickets for Erie D-League games are on sale and can be purchased via their website at www.nbaerie.com or by calling 814-790-5600. Games will be played at Louis J. Tullio Arena.
About the D-League:
The NBA Development League is the NBA's official minor league, and the first-ever basketball league with direct affiliations to NBA teams. Now in its seventh season the D-League’s goals are to provide affordable, NBA-caliber entertainment to fans of its 14 teams, as well as continue to develop players, coaches, referees and front-office personnel for the NBA. As the single source for in-season player "call-ups" to the NBA, fans of the D-League enjoy the highest caliber of basketball played outside the NBA. In fact, former D-League players represented 10 percent of NBA players on 2007-08 opening day rosters, numbering 44 in total. In addition, the D-League has produced 25 percent of current NBA referees and 17 current NBA coaches, including head coach Sam Vincent with the Charlotte Bobcats. The D-League is an innovative and rapidly growing sports property that also serves as an experimental testing ground for new initiatives like the live web-streaming of all games available free to fans at d-league.com. The League also provides continuing education and professional development resources for its players, and is committed to serving its local communities through D-LEAGUE CARES and grassroots efforts.