Basketball: Townsville Crocodiles out of NBL

Mitch Norton of the Crocodiles. The club's demise comes after a disappointing 2015-16 season where the team won just 11 of 28 games and finished second-last. Photo / Getty Images
Mitch Norton of the Crocodiles. The club's demise comes after a disappointing 2015-16 season where the team won just 11 of 28 games and finished second-last. Photo / Getty Images

North Queensland's tough economic climate is being blamed for the collapse of Townsville's NBL franchise.

The league confirmed today the Crocodiles will not take part in the 2016-17 season, bringing an end 23 years of representation for the city in Australia's professional basketball competition.

"We need to able to stand on our own two feet and the uncertainty of the current economic climate places us in a position where the board are not willing to continue," Crocodiles chairman Andrew Gisinger said.

"Ethically we cannot continue if we are not confident that we will be able to pay our bills."

The Crocodiles' demise comes after a disappointing 2015-16 season where the team won just 11 of 28 games and finished second-last.

The NBL has been dogged by uncertainty over teams throughout its history, with the Crocodiles the latest in a long line of clubs to fold.

NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger said the decision to pull the plug on the Crocodiles was in the league's best interest.

"In order for the NBL to be one of the strongest basketball leagues in the world, we must have teams that are commercially sustainable - we cannot allow our players, fans or sponsors to have any lingering doubt as to the longevity of our clubs," Loeliger said.

"There is no point in trying to sustain a club that has itself resolved that it cannot survive in its home town."

Queensland will still be represented in the 2016-17 season by the Cairns Taipans and a revived Brisbane Bullets in what will remain an eight-team competition.

The NBL has confirmed all financial commitments made by the club for the 2015-16 season will be honoured.

- AAP

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