It will cost the Halifax Rainmen more, but they will be back in the Premier Basketball League in 2010.
The PBL has completed negotiations with the Rainmen and invited them back for another season after officially finalizing the details of a special travel arrangement yesterday.
The Rainmen, who have one of the highest attendances in the league, paid 100 per cent of their own travel and 20 per cent of travel costs for teams visiting Halifax last year. For all other teams, the PBL covered travel costs across the board.
Under the new deal, the Rainmen are on the hook for even more. But neither side would say how much more.
“It’s a little bit more than (last year),” said Rainmen owner Andre Levingston. “I don’t want to give a number but we definitely have to cover a little bit more than that. I guess from their perspective it cost a lot to send teams to Halifax and we made sure it was a fair number. I don’t have a problem with that.”
PBL chairman Severko Hrywnak caused a stir in March when he told Metro Halifax the “costs are astronomical” to keep the Rainmen in the league and that if you “look at this is as a business model … Nobody would have Halifax in.”
At that time, Levingston balked at paying more for travel, but yesterday he said the Rainmen’s strong financial position enabled him to accommodate the PBL’s request.
“We can do things in Halifax that some other teams can’t do financially,” he said. “We want to keep basketball in Halifax and we got a deal done and moved forward.”