The Illawarra Hawks have struck a deal with the ACT Government to bring a star-studded NBL match to Canberra but are yet to secure a potential second fixture.
As revealed by The Canberra Times in July, the Illawarra Hawks will return to the capital when they host the Brisbane Bullets at the AIS Arena on Sunday, November 3.
The Hawks' return to Canberra means the capital will play host to American prospect LaMelo Ball after the league's small market battlers landed his signature via the Next Stars program.
The teenage super star will join forces with NBA veteran Aaron Brooks and powerhouses Josh Boone and David Anderson, who will also be major drawing cards for a bumper crowd in Canberra.
The Hawks hosted Cairns at a packed AIS Arena on January 26 this year, with 3344 fans filling the stands in stifling conditions.
Hawks general manager Mat Campbell expects an even larger crowd with the headline names and hopes to set a new record at the venue.
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"We're hoping it'll be a sell out at 5000. We want to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to come out and see this team, especially while LaMelo is in Australia," Campbell said.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a young American star who is making a presence in preseason already.
"On top of that we have three players with over 1000 game experience in the NBA. We're very excited with the roster we've been able to put together.
"We're opening [the venue] out this year. If you do it right you can fit under 5000 sitting but when you add standing room it goes a bit above that. We're excited it could be something crazy and we might even be able to break a record at that venue."
League officials are working to secure a second game in Canberra with the venue for the Hawks' clash with the NBL's reigning champions, the Perth Wildcats, on January 10 yet to be confirmed.
The Hawks are hoping their determination to form a genuine partnership with Canberra will help them secure the second fixture after finalising a funding agreement for the November match.
"At this stage there will only be one [match in Canberra] but we're still open," Campbell said.
"It'll depend on the level of support this game gets from the general public and corporates as well. From there, we will make a decision.
"We want to build a relationship with the ACT in the long-term. It's a whole drawing card to expand our footprint, encourage our members and let the ACT see world class basketball.
"Canberra is a basketball city so it's a no-brainer for us when we're only two hours up the road."
Tickets for the Hawks' NBL clash with Brisbane will be released to the general public on Wednesday, September 18.
Meanwhile the Australian Opals are preparing for their Asian Cup warm-up clash with China at the AIS Arena on September 19.
Canberra Capitals star Marianna Tolo has been ruled out of the match with a toe infection, leaving no local WNBL players on court.
Tolo is on the comeback trail from minor foot surgery and hopes to be fit for the Asia Cup starting on September 24 in India.