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Paul Smith thanks Kings fans for amazing season

30 March 2023

5 mins read

A message from Kings co-owner and chairman Paul Smith

Back-to-back NBL champions!

What a rare way to start this message to members and fans. It has a ring about it. In fact, it has two rings about it.

As a club we have so much to be proud of in a year with so many highlights:

- Finishing the regular season on top of the NBL ladder.

- One of the all-time great NBL wins in grand final game two with our backs to the wall. 

 - Back-to-back sellouts with record-breaking crowds in games three and five of the grand final series.

- Our league MVP signing a multi-year NBA contract.

- A hugely successful Christmas night game.

- Record TV ratings. 

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The Hoops Capital is alive and well.

This all doesn’t happen by coincidence. Incredible commitment and professionalism from our players, coaches, basketball staff, front office and management is the single most important factor that creates the magic.

I want to extend the gratitude of ownership to everyone involved. The joy this second championship brought to so many made the experience so special for the club.

But let’s save a special thank you to you, our loyal members, that continue to make the game day experience of The Sydney Kings so extraordinary and a must-do for sporting fans in Sydney. 

So, we now set the course for the 2024 championship. I’ve heard calls for a three-peat. I might have made that call as well after a few beers in the celebrations on the 15th of March. Well, we will be having a red-hot go. The focus now is to bring together an exciting roster that will have a fresh look now that our captain has headed to the NBA.

We have been busy in the last week as I am sure most are aware. Signing Angus and Jaylin to new deals and renewing Kouat and Jackson who will join Brucey and Jordan to retain the deepest bench in the NBL, I like to call it “The Bench From Hell”, only sets us up for the upcoming free agency period.

Check out the NBL's mini-movie of our NBL23 championship above, via our Sydney Kings' YouTube channel. While you're there, be sure to hit subscribe, to ensure you never miss out on any of our great videos.

But one last data point we would like to report to our members, something we promised we will do annually.

For the season just completed we were over the soft salary cap to the extent that we will pay a “luxury tax” of $39,506.  To provide context there were five teams over the cap and two clubs paid a higher luxury tax than the Sydney Kings.

We did set out this past season to pay zero luxury tax but the inflationary effects of players rightly seeking higher salaries after winning the 2022 championship and the reality that the import market is increasingly expensive, meant that we had to go over budget. 

That said, winning a second championship suggests we got pretty good value.

Members, we know these are challenging economic times and the cost of running our business is really biting now. Inflation is impacting everyone, and we have seen extraordinary increases in the cost to stage games at Qudos Bank Arena. We will be launching memberships in the next week or so, with a few details being finalised. There has been an incredible number of new requests for memberships. 

To ensure that casual ticket buyers can buy good seats at games, I’m afraid we will start to cap member numbers and it will be unlikely that we will be able to meet the increased demand.

Existing members will of course be given priority, so please be prompt in taking up your entitlements, we will release any unsold memberships to those on the new waiting list. You will receive more information about this in the coming days. 

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In October our first home game of NBL24 will feature raising our championship banner and the formal presentation of championship rings to the members of the 2023 NBL champion Sydney Kings. To be there to see our fifth banner proudly hanging from the rafters will be something special.

We are planning an incredible afternoon of entertainment and basketball, and already predicting our third sell-out in succession.

Christmas night is again scheduled. We know that a lot of members had mixed feelings about the fixture, we have listened, and next season's Sydney Kings memberships will not include the Christmas night game.

There will however be an exclusive buying window for those members that do wish to attend Christmas night, importantly this will allow members to accommodate family and friends that don’t normally come to games but want to sit with members for this special evening of basketball, community, and friendship.

NBL24 can’t come soon enough, I hope that everyone has a safe and happy off-season, but it will be Hoops Capital time again very soon!

Thank you again for all your support. 

Regards, Paul Smith - majority owner and chairman.

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