Increasing attendances helped Japanese basketball to register record revenue during the 2018-19 season.

The B. League, which is Japan’s top basketball competition, generated ¥30.8bn ($283m) in revenue over the course of the most recent campaign. That figure was up almost 10 per cent on 2017-18, and three times the amount generated in 2015-16 – the final season of the former National Basketball League.

Utsunomiya Brex topped ticketing revenue with ¥433m, overtaking Chiba Jets Funabashi, which had led in the B. League’s first two seasons. The Jets were runners-up with ¥416m, but led the league in total home attendance for the third straight year with 156,000.

Utsunomiya attracted the second most visitors, 120,000, which was up 10 per cent, and were the only other team to attract an average attendance of more than 4,000.

Kawasaki Brave saw a huge 21 per cent leap in attendance to 111,000, while Levanga Hokkaido was the fourth and final team to attract more than 100,000 during 2018-19.

For the second consecutive year, Chiba led the B. League in business revenue with ¥1.76bn, which was up 23 per cent year-on-year.

B. League chairman Masaaki Okawa said: “There’s going to be higher expectations for basketball. Then we can expect more sponsorships and ticketing revenue.”

Image: Shuhei S