Sioux Falls Skyforce Enter Hybrid Affiliation With Miami Heat
In a move that solidifies the presence of the NBADL in Sioux Falls, the Skyforce will now have a one-to-one affiliation with the Miami Heat. In a press release, The Miami Heat, the Sioux Falls Skyforce and the NBA Development League announced that the Heat and the Skyforce have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 NBA D-League season. Miami becomes the 13th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.
This also means that the Skyforce will enter the new season with another significant upgrade to how they do business. Along with the partnership with the Miami Heat, the Sanford Pentagon will be the new home venue for the NBADL franchise as it enters its 25th season this November.
This partnership between the Skyforce and Miami Heat which is classified as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the sixth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to pay for and control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives. The other teams in the NBADL with this relationship are the Maine Red Claws, Springfield Armor, Erie Bayhawks, Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Idaho Stampede.
The Heat will be Sioux Falls’ sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the team’s basketball operations. To further solidify the relationship, the Skyforce has adopted Miami’s red, yellow and black color scheme and signature font beginning with next season.
Also in the press release, Heat President Pat Riley noted, “We have been working with the Skyforce for four years and feel that it is one of the most professional organizations in the NBA Development League." It will be a pleasure working with Mike Heineman to make this partnership a success for both them and the Miami Heat.”
Likewise, Skyforce President Mike Heineman was elated by the announcement. “The Miami Heat is a premier franchise in the NBA and we are honored to be their exclusive NBA D-League affiliate,” said Heineman, Skyforce owner/president. “This affiliation will take our franchise to a whole new level on and off the court.” For the time being, this announcement means Miami will be in charge of the coaching staff decisions. It is not currently known if Joel Abelson, Darren Kohne, DeSean Hadley or Jermaine Byrd will return in their capacities.
Season ticket packages are now available for the 2013-14 campaign. The Sanford Pentagon main court capacity will be about 3500 patrons once completed.