Pro basketball is coming to Langley.
Thursday morning, Fraser Valley Bandits announced the club has chosen Langley Events Centre (LEC) as its home for the upcoming Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) season, which begins May 2022.
CEBL commissioner and CEO Mike Morreale called it a “special opportunity to celebrate and usher in a new chapter in British Columbia’s rich basketball history. The sport’s roots run deep in B.C., from the Okanagan to Vancouver Island, and especially here in the Fraser Valley.”
Confirmation of the move comes after weeks of speculation that the Bandits could be displaced by the American Hockey League (AHL) Canucks pro hockey franchise, which will play at least five seasons at the Abbotsford Centre.
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Bandits were one of the league’s top teams throughout the regular season, finishing the campaign with a 5-2 record at home.
Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese described it as an “an exciting opportunity to see professional basketball close to home” adding it “can help inspire youth players to take up the sport.”
Abbotsford Centre has served as the team’s home since July 2018 when the Bandits were launched ahead of the CEBL’s inaugural 2019 season, which featured six teams in Abbotsford, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Guelph, Hamilton and St. Catharines.
The inaugural season saw the Bandits finish among the league’s best in average attendance.
LEC is also home to the Western Hockey League Vancouver Giants, Langley Thunder Lacrosse teams, Trinity Western University’s U SPORTS teams, the Langley Gymnastics Foundation, as well as serving as Basketball B.C. headquarters and providing space t0 a variety of user groups, clubs and high school teams.
Bandits president Dylan Kular referred to LEC’s “storied basketball and sports history.”
“Bandits fans both new and old will be able to experience the elite game day product that they have come to know and love, as well as the benefits of a centrally located venue in the Lower Mainland,” Kular commented.
Gary Ahuja, manager of corporate communications and media for LEC was “always excited to add another tenant and even more games to what we already offer here at Langley Events Centre.
“Having hosted various provincial basketball championships at LEC for more than a decade now, we know just how passionate the basketball community is both here in the Fraser Valley, across the Lower Mainland and throughout BC,” Ahuja continued.
Deposits for full season ticket membership packages are now available and can be placed with a Bandits representative by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 604-866-0529.
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