Basketball African League bringing millions of dollars to boost SA economy

Basketball African League bringing millions of dollars to boost SA economy

The Basketball African League (BAL) Season 4 tips off for the first time on South African soil next weekend, Cape Town Tigers CEO Raphael Edwards believes that the biggest winner from this event will be the South African economy.

The BAL Kalahari conference is coming to the Sunbet Arena from the ninth until 17 March. Edwards, who is also the co-founder of Tigers and has been behind the efforts to drive BAL in the country, expects this tournament to contribute millions of dollars to the local economy.

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"I'm excited because a big reason is it brings a lot of money to the country. We've been operating here, we've been paying people, we pay the vendors, etcetera. We're growing a brand, we are building awareness, teams from other countries fly in to play us. Now with BAL being here, it really puts South Africa under the spotlight and BAL comes in, they have to pay vendors,” Edwards said.

“So, it brings money to a country that I know at a time right now, I think its 30% rate that has dropped. So, it's a good time, it's during the offseason right, so it's not the vacationing time of SA. So, SA already has a dip during this period but now with BAL coming in, hopefully, it can level the playing field out."

Edwards says funding is a big part of the BAL and as Tigers, they still need a lot of funding to be able to be competitive in this tournament. 

SABC Sport understands that Tiger spends close to R2 million a month on salaries and operational costs, another reason why Edwards is calling for corporate support.

"We need the support, we need it. I believe we've been here, we've paid our dues. South Africans have showed us tough love but we are starting to gain a ton of fans. Not only the fans, we need the support of the corporate sponsors here in South Africa,” Edwards added.

“We are going across the continent for our team in particular, we are going across the globe in two years we've played across four different continents. We need the support of corporate sponsors. We need the support of the people who are looking for investment here that we've been wanting a South African partner here. So, we've shown what we could do on our own. Now we need the support."