One of the most fiercely contested fixtures on the British basketball calendar tips off the new season of domestic hoops on Tyneside next month.
Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles welcome old foes Sheffield Sharks to the Vertu Motors Arena on September 14 as Marc Steutel’s new-look roster looks to make an instant impression.
And the men in black are set to host Cheshire Phoenix, Leicester Riders (twice) and champions London Lions before the end of October.
The opening round of the 2023-24 British Basketball League Men’s Regular Season marks the start of an exciting new cycle for the professional game in the UK.
Ambitious moves to ready the top flight for a wider TV audience mean the new campaign tips off on a Thursday night for the first time.
Newcastle Eagles 73 - 80Cheshire PhoenixVertu Motors ArenaMen's Championship
Newcastle Eagles - vs -Leicester RidersVertu Motors ArenaMen's Championship
And with the European North Basketball League (ENBL) fixture list set to be confirmed later this week, Eagles supporters can look forward to regular midweek action alongside the club’s favoured Friday night homecourt slot.
“This looks set to be the busiest and most exciting season ever for our club and the British Basketball League,” said Eagles’ Managing Director, Paul Blake.
“There’s been a huge amount of work going on at the League behind the scenes to maximise the sport’s growth and potential. Fans in our arenas, at home and around the world will be able to enjoy even more action-packed match-ups each week.
“Our season ticket holders can look forward to more homecourt games across the league’s bigger Regular Season schedule with at least 20 tip-offs now included.
“There are four British teams in Europe this season which means the fixture list has never been so congested but we’ve worked hard to secure our famous Friday nights for all but three of our Regular Season homecourt games.
“Everyone at the Eagles is excited — as our fans will be too — for the release of the additional ENBL fixtures later this week with more Tyneside tip-offs set to fill the calendar.
“We’ll continue to work alongside our loyal supporters to ensure everyone enjoys the best possible Eagles’ experience on game night and we can’t wait to get started.”
Big time Friday night basketball returns to the VMA on September 29 with ex-Phoenix pair Larry Austin Jr and Will Neighbour set to suit up against former club Cheshire.
A week later Rob Paternostro’s Leicester head to Tyneside — before the rebooted Riders return to the North East on October 20.FIRST THREE HOME GAMES ON SALE NOW
Title favourites London complete a mouthwatering stretch of home games during the first six weeks of the season with the Lions due in Newcastle on October 27.
“Newcastle versus Sheffield is a game that always captures the imagination and I can’t think of many better fixtures to get the new season underway,” said Steutel.
“It’s always a challenge to coach against Atiba and the Sharks and I know both teams will be relishing the opportunity to renew old rivalries.
“The fixture list has thrown up some really exciting home games in the first few weeks and I know my players will want to lay down an early marker in front of our fans.”
The Regular Season takes a break in January to allow the British Basketball League Men’s Trophy to take centre stage.
Newcastle have been drawn alongside Leicester, Manchester Giants and Bristol Flyers in the group stage with the semi-finals and final taking place at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena from January 27-28.
The All-Star Game returns on March 17 with the Regular Season due to wrap up on April 20.
Fans can have our game schedule automatically kept up to date directly on their device from our fixtures and results page. (Did this last season? You’ve already been updated!)