Boston Celtics take full control of G League affiliate

NBA franchise now responsible for both business and basketball operations of Maine Red Claws.

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The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Boston Celtics have announced an agreement to purchase the Maine Red Claws, their G League affiliate.

The deal reflects a trend that has seen NBA teams buy their minor league affiliates and formalises a relationship that has existed between the Celtics and the Red Claws since the latter’s inaugural season in 2009/10. No financial details relating to the purchase have been reported.

In 2012, the Celtics became the team’s sole affiliate, assuming control of all basketball operations while the Red Claws maintained the business side of the G League franchise.

“Over the years, the G League and the Red Claws have become increasingly important to the Celtics and our player development efforts,” said Celtics president Rich Gotham, announcing the deal. “We look forward to deepening both our ties with basketball operations and within the community, and further bringing the Celtics experience to fans in Maine.”

The Red Claws were one of the few remaining independently owned G League franchises, with Bill Ryan Jr and his father, former TD Bank chairman and chief executive Bill Ryan, having been among the team’s owners since the start.

At least 24 NBA teams now own their G League affiliates. Several others employ the model previously used by the Celtics and the Red Claws.

The Red Claws have a five-year lease with the city of Portland to play at the Portland Expo through the 2023/24 season, with the Portland Press Herald confirming a five-year option to extend the lease through 2029, added in 2015, with city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin.

The local publication reports that the long-term relationship between the Celtics and the city of Portland is ‘unclear’, with the deal awaiting G League approval.

After selling out every home game their first two seasons, bringing in 73,000 fans annually, the Red Claws have seen their attendance drop every season since. In 2015, the Red Claws spent US$360,000 on renovations to the Expo, but last year saw a franchise-worst 44,633 annual attendance.

The venue is currently being used to shelter migrants, with the city needing to provide housing for them by 15th August in order to make the arena available as part of its commitment to the team.

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Boston Celtics have announced an agreement to purchase the Maine Red Claws, their G League affiliate.

The deal reflects a trend that has seen NBA teams buy their minor league affiliates and formalises a relationship that has existed between the Celtics and the Red Claws since the latter’s inaugural season in 2009/10. No financial details relating to the purchase have been reported.

In 2012, the Celtics became the team’s sole affiliate, assuming control of all basketball operations while the Red Claws maintained the business side of the G League franchise.

“Over the years, the G League and the Red Claws have become increasingly important to the Celtics and our player development efforts,” said Celtics president Rich Gotham, announcing the deal. “We look forward to deepening both our ties with basketball operations and within the community, and further bringing the Celtics experience to fans in Maine.”

The Red Claws were one of the few remaining independently owned G League franchises, with Bill Ryan Jr and his father, former TD Bank chairman and chief executive Bill Ryan, having been among the team’s owners since the start.

At least 24 NBA teams now own their G League affiliates. Several others employ the model previously used by the Celtics and the Red Claws.

The Red Claws have a five-year lease with the city of Portland to play at the Portland Expo through the 2023/24 season, with the Portland Press Herald confirming a five-year option to extend the lease through 2029, added in 2015, with city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin.

The local publication reports that the long-term relationship between the Celtics and the city of Portland is ‘unclear’, with the deal awaiting G League approval.

After selling out every home game their first two seasons, bringing in 73,000 fans annually, the Red Claws have seen their attendance drop every season since. In 2015, the Red Claws spent US$360,000 on renovations to the Expo, but last year saw a franchise-worst 44,633 annual attendance.

The venue is currently being used to shelter migrants, with the city needing to provide housing for them by 15th August in order to make the arena available as part of its commitment to the team.