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Reno Sharpshooters suspend operations

October 29, 2007 - American Basketball Association (ABA) Reno Sharpshooters

Reno will have to wait another year or longer to get a professional basketball team. The Reno Sharpshooters have suspended operations and will not play in the 2007 - 2008 season.

"Securing a venue is the first thing you have to do to make this a success," says team President Greg Newman. "Once this happens then you can move forward. We still are waiting for final documentation from the school district. It has taken too long to make this thing work for this year. The county had given us clearance to talk to the schools about playing in local gyms. Then the schools asked that we go back to the county for further approval. After having a meeting with the county, they asked that we go back to the schools again. The process of getting a final clearance turned out to be too time consuming."

The players and coaches were notified by Newman this weekend and each was given his weekly salary and was notified that there would not be a season.

"Moving forward from this point was going to be tough. We pushed the deadline back and back to try and make this work, but promotion, ticket sales, and sponsorships were impossible to accomplish because the only focus was on the venue." Newman continues, "Among the venue possibilities was the Reno Events Center. According to Joe Kelly the RSCVA was not interested in renting the Events Center to The Sharpshooters this year because of the possibility of the D-League having a team play there in the 2008 - 2009 season."

The Reno Events Center turned out not to be a viable venue. According to Kelly the Events Center is looking for a $4000 per night, plus $1.50 per ticket sold, and they do not currently have a floor, baskets, a scoreboard and anywhere to store these elements between games. This would mean that ticket prices would be in excess of $40 per adult.

The ABA is disappointed, but it has been very supportive along the way. Reno has been a target market for the past six years, and future options may still exist if the team secures its own home.

"I hope that one day this can work for Reno. As a native of Reno, I would love to have as much professional sports here as the city will support." Newman writes, "We had a team that was going to win and a great coach that was teaching these guys how to be pros. The Sharpshooters would have been great because this town backs a winner."

Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.

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