Basketball fans bring the energy for Calgary Surge inaugural CEBL game
Saturday marks an historic moment for the Calgary Surge as the team tips off for its inaugural game in the Canadian Elite Basketball league.
A couple thousand fans are expected to gather in the plaza outside the WinSport Event Centre at 2 p.m. for a special fan festival which includes basketball courts, food trucks, a beer garden and family friendly entertainment.
The game starts at 4 p.m. against provincial rivals, the Edmonton Stingers and already more than 90 per cent of tickets are sold out.
“Our players are here, our coaches are here, and we are so excited for the start of professional basketball in Calgary,” said Surge Head Coach Nelson Terroba.
“For the first time I stepped foot in this city for my press conference at WinSport, to our season ticket holder launch event this past week, I have witnessed tangible energy and excitement around the Surge. We can’t wait to have Calgarians watch us play.”
Calgary’s new CEBL franchise originated as the Guelph Nighthawks in 2018 as one of the league’s founding members. The organization was relocated from the league’s smallest market to Calgary in August 2022 as part of a growing business strategy.
Surge vice-chairman and president Jason Ribeiro says he’s very encouraged by the reception from southern Alberta basketball fans.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been seven months since we stood in front of Calgarians and unveiled the Calgary Surge as the CEBL’s newest franchise,” he said.
“We’ve been working tirelessly since October to build a team Calgarians can call their own and I can’t wait for all four corners of the city to come out this weekend and cheer on the home team.”
The CEBL boasts the highest number of Canadian players of any pro league in the country with 71 per cent of its rosters being Canadian.
Nine players have moved from the CEBL into the NBA following a CEBL season, and 28 CEBL players attended NBA G League training camps during October.
The CEBL season runs from May to August with nine remaining Calgary Surge home games.