There’s a New Game in Town – National Basketball League of Canada
Dario Zulich National Basketball League of Canada

With today’s announcement that Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment has bought a franchise in the National Basketball League of Canada, Wolves owner Dario Zulich has just added another team to his collection of Sudbury sports franchises.

There is no question that Sudbury businessman Dario Zulich has captured the attention of many Sudburians over past few years starting with his vision for The True North Strong Centre, which is a new arena and event centre proposed for the Kingsway that he hopes to build in partnership with the City of Greater Sudbury.

Last July Zulich ratcheted up his commitment to Sudbury’s sports and entertainment scene with his purchase of the Sudbury Wolves hockey team, which enjoyed an impressive turnaround season under his leadership, and last week Zulich announced that he had taken over the ownership of the Sudbury Spartans football team.

Zulich, a former University of Western basketball player can now add another unique asset to his growing sports and entertainment empire with today’s announcement that he has purchased a new franchise for a Sudbury-based team in the professional National Basketball League of Canada (NBL of Canada).

The NBL of Canada is a rapidly growing professional league, under the leadership of former National Basketball Association player Commissioner David Magley, that currently has 10 teams in Ontario and the Maritimes with plans to gradually roll out to other markets across Canada over the next few years.

The league is quickly gaining a reputation for fast paced, professional basketball geared towards mid-market cities and the league even includes one player who was drafted an impressive 14th overall in the NBA draft a few years ago.

According to Zulich, “Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment will be the owner of the yet unnamed basketball franchise that is hopeful to play its first game in the Sudbury Arena for the 2017-2018 season. The final decision on the team’s first season is expected to be made this summer when the league organizes their 2017-18 schedule, with their target to be on the court in December 2017 for the season’s start. 705basketball.com is the new team’s working name for the launch and was chosen to represent basketball in Northern Ontario and also to welcome basketball fans from all across the north to Sudbury to cheer on Northern Ontario’s first professional basketball team. Andrew Dale a partner in the True North Strong Centre and Vice President Marketing and Development of The Wolves and Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment says, “The new basketball franchise will be holding a community contest to help choose the actual name of the team in the very near future because we want to invite everyone to be a part of Sudbury and Northern Ontario’s new professional basketball team.”

Dario Zulich National Basketball League of Canada Group

Andrew Dale, VP of Marketing and Development of the Sudbury Wolves Sports and Entertainment and a partner in the True North Strong Centre (left) is shown with NBL of Canada Commissioner David Magley and local sportspreneur Dario Zulich at today’s announcement of the new basketball team for Sudbury that is hoping to hit the courts for the 2017-18 season at the Sudbury Arena.

In his statement at the press conference attended by NBL of Canada Commissioner David Magley, Zulich said, “Our group’s end game is to entertain the people of Greater Sudbury, to bring people together and to cheer. By putting a few different teams together (The Wolves, The Spartans and the new NBL of Canada team) we can now cheer year round, and when we cheer together, we are going to increase our morale and this will strengthen our spirit, and that attitude will become contagious. Sudbury has a lot to cheer for, we are an amazing city, and we are the capital of Northern Ontario. We are the hub of Northeastern Ontario in areas such as commerce and education, healthcare and tourism. I am hoping that soon we are going to be the hub for sports and entertainment for Northeastern Ontario and not by building a single building but by clustering together common elements of sports and entertainment to create a new sports and entertainment district, a new regional destination a new industry in Sudbury with an economic life of its own. I believe that we are on the verge of making Greater Sudbury even greater.”

Quick Basketball Facts:

  • Basketball is the fastest growing and largest participation sport in Canada.
  • The NBL of Canada has a forty game schedule that includes twenty home games and three rounds of playoffs.
  • The season runs from December to June (including playoffs).
  • Each team has a salary cap of $150,000 per season
  • The league averages 2,000 fans per game.
  • Over 1,000 players tried out for the league in 2016.
  • The NBL of Canada started in 2011 with three teams. Currently the league has two divisions the Central (Ontario) and the Atlantic Division. Visit the website for more information about the NBL of Canada.

National Basketball League of Canada Central Division:

  • Windsor Express
  • London Lightning
  • KW Titans
  • Orangeville A’s
  • Niagara River Lions

National Basketball League of Canada Atlantic Division:

  • Moncton Miracles
  • Saint John Riptide
  • Island Storm
  • Halifax Hurricanes
  • Cape Breton Highlanders
By land area, Sudbury is the largest city in Ontario.

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