Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league has been forced to cancel its 2020 season as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The three-on-three professional league says it will return in 2021 for its fourth campaign. CBS will remain the broadcast partner, according to a press release.
“The Big3 always wants to deliver the best for our fans under safe conditions. Due to a confluence of issues including safety, uncertainty of testing, changing government regulations, insurance and liability issues, sponsor and advertiser challenges of their own, and the changing nature of the virus itself, the decision was made to focus on a great return in 2021,” a statement read.
“Ultimately, we need the fan experience and the games themselves to be great. While other leagues have more immediate financial considerations, as a rising league, we need to put the fan experience above all and ensure each season is better than the one before. While we investigated many alternative scenarios, such as playing at a single location like a Los Angeles studio sound stage, the extension of the California stay at home order, California’s constant confusion and changing of the rules when combined with the multiple other issues listed above led to us to determining these scenarios were not feasible.”
The announcement, however, came just as California Governor Gavin Newsom said he was prepared to allow live sports in the state without fans.
In January, Big3 announced a series of major structural changes to its format, led by a rebranding of its 3-on-3 form of basketball as an entirely new sport called Fireball3. The New York event in June was originally scheduled for Louis Armstrong Stadium, which is normally the home of the US Open major tennis championships.
Big3 has announced that a planned reality show in partnership with television production company Endemol, called Big3: Not in My House, will go ahead. It will air some time before the 2021 season.
“We tried everything in our power to give our fans a nice 2020 season but with a long list of obstacles, we decided to shift our focus to having a great 2021 season with our fans in the stands. Our goal from day one has always been to provide a remarkable experience full of top-level competition and entertainment,” said Big3 co-founder Ice Cube. “With the creation of Big3: Not in My House and more time to prepare for the season, we will definitely come back with the fire.”