Milton Keynes LionsThe Marshall MK Lions basketball team have confirmed that they will be staying in Milton Keynes after acquiring a 30,000 sq ft Warehouse in the retail district of Winterhill. The team will play 3 games in Stoke Mandeville before opening in the venue by mid November.

The  regeneration plans of Bletchley Leisure Centre saw a move for the Lions to thecentre:mk last season but with that deal not able to be extended, and the Stadium MK Arena not yet nearing completion the team had to reconsider it’s position.

The Lions also have an increasing fan base which needs to be catered for. The move to thecentre:mk saw the fan capacity rise from 800 to 1300 in January of this year and the added impact of that has created a real boon for Lions Basketball.

The Marshall MK Lions first moved to Milton Keynes from Watford in 1998 with owner Vince Macaulay, who became head coach of the team in January 2008.  The team has enjoyed tremendous success winning the BBL cup at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in front of 7,000 fans, and becoming BBL Championship finalists.  Macaulay  was also awarded with the ‘Basketball League Coach of the Year 2008’ and last season awarded ‘Coach of the Month’ in October. New Head Coach, Michael New has been assembling a very talented unit without knowing where they would be playing

Vince Macaulay enthused: “This season the Lions will challenge again.  We have seen our fan base increase year on year and it’s time to move forward, we have acquired the site for 3 years and it will house not only the show court but also two training courts, a Learning Centre and office space as we continue to expand our National League and development programme. We are the largest basketball organisation for miles around and feel we should blaze a trail for our sport.”

The location is right opposite Home Base, has it’s own parking facilities and benefits from being just a 5 minute walk from the Train Station and the City Centre

It’s early days and Macaulay called for support, “We are going to need the help and support of many people, the Council are now going to deal with our Planning Change application to Leisure use, we have mountains of work to do to get all our seats lights, floor and baskets in as well as develop the other aspects of the building, painting, partitioning etc, but it is reassuring to know where we will be for the short to midterm future. If you would like to assist, please get in touch!”

The first game in Basketball Centre MK is likely to be on November the 14th if all goes well, this weekend the team will be in pre-season action, firstly in Leicester on Saturday but home fans can meet the new members on Sunday when they play Team USA Select at 1pm at Stantonbury Campus, tickets are available online at www.mklions.com, and Season Tickets are also available at the website store.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Vince Macaulay direct on e-mail: [email protected] or telephone 01908 512217.

Source: www.bbl.org.uk