The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) is narrowing its options for competion in 2020 to a tournament format, meaning Ottawa basketball fans will not be able to see their new pro club in action this year.
The league is now focused exclusively on a multi-week tournament that would see all seven clubs convene in a single location in Ontario to play a round robin slate of games culminating in a single elimination playoff that will determine the 2020 league champion.
While specifics are still to be finalized, the CEBL is in discussions with Niagara area officials about the availability of the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines for the second half of July and August.
All plans must conform to the phased-in re-opening measures taken by the province throughout the coming weeks.
"We have been working closely with public health and government officials in developing numerous contingency plans, knowing that ultimately any actions we may take will be dictated by protocols they create to ensure the safety of players, coaches, venue staff, and league officials," said CEBL Commissioner Mike Morreale. "We are optimistic that our league will be a leader in returning pro sports to playing in Canada."
The CEBL had been scheduled to open its second season May 7, and to finish the campaign with the 2020 CEBL Championship Weekend in Edmonton, August 14-16.
Teams around the league are expected to contact ticket holders to inform them of their options to hold their seats for the 2021 season, and receive rewards for doing so, or get a refund.