Year founded: 2015

Commissioner/Chairman: Masaaki Okawa

Founder: Saburo Kawabuchi

No. of Teams: 18

Approximate Season Schedule:

Early October to early May
– Regular season: early October – late April

– Playoffs: end of April – early May

League Description:

Founded in 2015, B.LEAGUE is the merge of Japan Basketball Association and bj league, which were originally established in 1930 and 2005 respectively. 36 teams from the 1st and 2nd division (18 in each division) are professional teams, which they are further divided into 3 conferences, playing 60 games in the regular season.

The top 2 teams from each conference will be in the playoffs, as well as the 2 teams that finish with the best record but do not finish in the top 2 of their conference.

Key Economics to Consider:

For the 2017-18 season, B.LEAGUE official released figure in November 2018 reported a 30.2 percent
increase in operating income to ¥19.5 billion from the previous season for the 36 clubs in B1 and B2.

The Chiba Jets took the No. 1 spot in operating income at ¥1.427 billion. Only two clubs topped the ¥1
billion threshold for the 2016-17 season, but six teams exceeded the mark for the second campaign.

The Chiba Jets, who drew more than 5,000 fans per home contest last season, made ¥340 million
from ticket sales, which was the best figure in the league. Tochigi was No. 2 with ¥336 million.

The overall net profit of all first- and second-division clubs was ¥520 million (¥380 million in B1 and
¥140 million in B2).

Foreign Players Rule:

Each club in the first and second divisions will be allowed up to three registered foreign players, excluding
one foreign-born player who has become a naturalized Japanese citizen. Two foreign players
will be allowed on the court. Naturalized players can play as Japanese citizens and have no limitations.
Each club will be allowed one naturalized player.

Viewership / Attendance:

Attendance figures released in December 2014 by the bj-league and NBL showed that only six of their
combined 35 teams averaged at least 2,000 fans at their home games at that point in the season.

By comparison, 17 of 18 B1 clubs averaged 2,000-plus fans a game this season, with nine topping the
3,000 mark.

The top three were Chiba (5,190), Tochigi (3,951) and Levanga Hokkaido (3,693) through mid-April,
according to the league’s latest marketing report.

What’s more, eight first-division teams had an increase of 8 percent or more in average attendance
from 2017-18. More than 2.5 million fans attended B1 games this season, an increase of 3.6 percent
from last season.

Attendance totals increased for the second year in a row.