GTA Construction Report staff writer
In 2015, the Niagara River Lions played their inaugural season as the newest franchise in the National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada, finishing third in regular season play under coach Grâce Lokole and delighting fans at their home court in the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines.
Josh Knoester, responsible for corporate partnerships and sales, says the response from local residents and businesses in the first season was strong. “The community really stepped up last season. Niagara’s citizens and businesses were really ready for another entertainment option in their beautiful new facility.”
So far this season, he says there has been increased fan support. “Fan support simply put will be the lifeblood of our franchise. Through three home games, season ticket support and single game ticket sales have both shown great improvement.”
Knoester says the team is actively involved on social media so fans can follow the team. Players and staff are also regularly out across Niagara. “Our team will be a staple in Niagara. We are in the schools, and you will see us at a number of community events. We are working hard to ensure that we can be a part of Niagara for many seasons to come.”
The team has also been welcomed by the business community through a growing list of sponsors, providing the franchise’s backbone. “Like our fans, we are nothing without these fine businesses that have shown their support for Niagara’s pro sport franchise.”
A complete list of the team’s partners can be found at http://riverlions.ca/corporate-partners.
While the team had a strong first season, Knoester says this season should be even better. “We have veteran group this season. A great majority of our players have more than two years of professional playing experience under their belt, and I truly believe this will prove to benefit the team this season.”
He says the team is excited to have 2015-16 NBL Canada MVP, Logan Stutz, back for another season. “Logan is one player that will help bring a championship to Niagara. One newer player to watch out for is Marcus Lewis. This man is exciting to watch. He can do it all, and was once crowned as an NCAA Division 1 Slam Dunk Champion.”
More about the team, and the season’s schedule, is available at http://www.riverlions.ca.