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Oita HeatDevils appeal for ¥45 million to stay in BJL

Date Posted: 2011-06-22

Another Basketball Japan League team is in financial trouble, and is telling fans and businesses it needs plenty of financial support if it’s to play in the upcoming season.

The Oita HeatDevils have put the latest appeal on its website, telling everyone it needs ¥45 million by Friday. The team’s budget projection is ¥125 million for the next season, and team officials say they’ve already received commitments for ¥80 million.

The HeatDevils, one of the league’s original founding six teams, missed this year’s playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, racking up a 16-32 record. Fans have not been supportive, with fewer than 1,000 attending per home game last season. That’s the worst home attendance figure in recent seasons.

Two years ago, following an 8-44 season, banners popped up at Ariake Colosseum during the league’s Final Four signaling “Save the HeatDevils”. New management stepped in at that point in 2009, rejuvenating the team for the moment.

Team management hasn’t commented.

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