Newfoundland Rogues to take over Mile One Centre as St. John's newest basketball franchise

·2 min read
The Newfoundland Rogues will play their first game in St. John's on Nov. 27. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC - image credit)
The Newfoundland Rogues will play their first game in St. John's on Nov. 27. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC - image credit)

The newest professional sports franchise to hit St. John's unveiled its logo Wednesday at a courtside press conference at Mile One Centre.

The Newfoundland Rogues will play out of the province's largest stadium, the former home of the St. John's Edge, a member of the National Basketball League of Canada.

It's the first time an American Basketball Association franchise has settled in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"I have some very, very talented guys," said head coach Jerry Williams, noting that he's signed more than a dozen players so far.

The Rogues will host all 30 of its games in the upcoming season at Mile One, prompting St. John's Mayor Danny Breen to anticipate a boost for nearby businesses.

"We are very pleased with it," he told reporters at Wednesday's unveiling. "Having those 30 event nights is huge. It means more people downtown, more people visiting the businesses downtown and generating the economic activity that Mile One Centre is designed to generate."

The Rogues have signed a five-year lease at the city-owned stadium, which has struggled to retain a tenant over the last two years.

Owner Tony Kenny said he expected to bring "high-level ball" to the city, and conveyed confidence the team would draw in a fanbase — despite co-existing, and potentially competing, with the St. John's Edge.

Jeremy Eaton/CBC
Jeremy Eaton/CBC

"A lot of former NBA players have come in this league and they're very competitive and they're very entertaining. So the league will sell on entertainment, and we are going to deliver that here at Mile One," he said.

"Ultimately, the fans are going to decide what entertainment they're going to go see."

The ABA, launched in 1999, comprises dozens of teams across North America, from Alaska to Florida.

The Newfoundland Rogues open their season Nov. 27.

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