The BBL has confirmed that Manchester Giants and East London Royals will join the league for the 2012/13 season.
The Royals will bring basketball back to the capital playing at the Sporthouse, in Mayesbrook Park in Dagenham, which boasts a capacity of up to 4000.
Manchester Giants return to the top table, playing out of the Wright Robinson Sports College in the East of Manchester.
Royals Director Mark Clark said “We are very excited at joining the BBL at a great time for the sport in the UK. The BBL has gained great exposure over the last two seasons and the Olympic Games will give the sport huge coverage. With our involvement in the local GB Regional Basketball Institute we hope the BBL team will also provide a pathway for the cream of the Institute players.”
Giants Head Coach Jeff Jones said: “I am absolutely delighted to be back coaching the Manchester Giants – it has been a long term ambition of mine to bring a professional basketball franchise back to Manchester and we’re aiming to hit the ground running and introduce a competitive team to the league, with a good balance of home grown talent with more experienced players.”
However, there will not be a team joining the BBL from Birmingham, as previously announced, at least for this season.
The new Birmingham franchise, owned by Oaks Consultancy, will not join until the 2013/14 season due to a delay with their venue build.
Managing Partner of Oaks, Mark Walker, said: “Oaks acquired the Birmingham franchise with the intention of entering a team in the 2012/13 season, but unfortunately for us and the city of Birmingham, this is now no longer possible due to unforeseen venue complications. However, we are confident that our new home venue at the Futsal International Arena Birmingham will be completed well in advance of the start of the 2013/14 season when we look forward to hosting our first competitive BBL game.”
The BBL fixture format for the 2012/13 season is due to be announced in the coming weeks.