The 2019-20 campaign was suspended following the BBL Cup final in mid-March and the league – in consultation with their 12 member clubs – accounced on Monday that the season would be ended with no champions crowned.
Sharks season-ticket holders had seen 11 home games at Ponds Forge up to that point, and could potentially have seen a further eight with the conclusion of the BBL Championship regular season and the play-offs.
To compensate for those lost fixtures, existing season-ticket holders will be able to see up to 27 games next season encompassing BBL Championship, Trophy, Cup and play-off competitions, if they renew their ticket.
“For those people who had season tickets this season, for the same price next season they will get an increased number of games,” explained Sharks general manager Sarah Backovic.
“Clubs are looking at various models, but that’s what we’ll be offering because we believe that will be the biggest advantage for fans.
“We might still have to adhere to social distancing, and from our point of view, it will be easier to manage those protocals when we know how many season-ticket holders we have and how many will be attending the games.”
The BBL will provisionally return in October, a few weeks later than usual, with the aim being to condense more fixtures into the season to compensate for the lost games, and revenue, this term.
“We’re still in discussions about the method of how we can return by the autumn, because a lot could still change,” admitted Backovic, who has been the Sharks representative on regular league-wide conversations staged throughout the pandemic.
“It’s looking like it will be October. We’ll be preparing for every scenario; playing behind closed doors, playing in front of limited attendances or full audiences.
“Even though lockdown rules are being relaxed there wasn’t a realistic chance of concluding the season. So we’re just now looking forward and making proper preparations for the next campaign.”
The BBL last year had the foresight to have key motion cameras installed in all arenas to ensure games could be live-streamed.
Sharks have five players contracted for 2020-21 and a further seven spots to fill on their roster.
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