The Heat will be looking to springboard off last season’s third place finish as the BBL moves forward to a Sunday December 5 start and Friday January 28 final, the week before school goes back across the country.
Cricket Australia’s announcement of BBL|11 fixturing features a return to a more familiar program for Heat fans, after last season’s exceptional fixturing that saw South East Queensland host a number of matches involving most of the BBL clubs as cricket juggled bio-security requirements due to COVID restrictions throughout the competition.
The Heat’s crowd-pulling prowess will receive a boost with five games at the Gabba again and two at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
All home games will fall within the Queensland school holidays with three of the team’s last four games at the Gabba.
The Heat will open its season away against the Sydney Thunder at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Monday 6 December before making the haul to Perth to take on the Scorchers in their opening game at Optus Stadium on Wednesday 8 December.
The Heat will take on the Renegades at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast on Monday 13 December, with their first Gabba match inside a week later when they host the Thunder on Sunday 19 December.
Their other home matches feature the Melbourne Stars on Monday 27 December at the Gabba, the defending champion Sydney Sixers at Metricon Stadium on Tuesday 4 January, followed by Brisbane hosting the Hobart Hurricanes (Saturday 8 January), Adelaide Strikers (Wednesday 12 January) and Perth Scorchers (Wednesday 19 January) all at the Gabba.
Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said the Heat would again unite families and fans at their home games in Queensland.
“It’s always exciting when the Heat are in action at the Gabba or at Metricon Stadium during the holidays and we’re confident they will again have plenty to offer fans in terms of putting on a great event,’’ he said.
“The team did us proud last season despite the disruptions they had to deal with on the way to a top three finish and we’re keen to see them flourish further this summer,’’ Svenson said.
Brisbane, which are regularly one of the top TV rating teams in the BBL, last season achieved their highest placing since BBL|06.
The team won through to host the club’s first semi-final since 2016-17, going on to win the ‘Eliminator’ and “Knock-Out’ finals before losing in the ‘Challenger’ to Perth to finish in third spot.
Brisbane Heat memberships are on sale to the public from Monday 16 August, with renewals for existing members opening on Monday.
Membership prices for the 2021-22 season will remain the same as the 2019-20 season, keeping prices affordable for families and representing a 40 percent saving on regular ticket purchasers.
Public tickets will go on sale later this year.
The Heat have announced Chris Lynn, Tom Banton (International), Xavier Bartlett, Sam Heazlett, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Matt Willans and Tom Cooper as players under contract for BBL|11 and beyond.
The BBL player contracting embargo will officially lift today, meaning the Heat can now proceed complete its list for the season, including securing the signatures of up to three international players in their 18-player squads.
After a record-breaking KFC BBL|10 season, the most-watched in League history with a total audience of 44.82 million across all 61 games, the League’s eleventh edition returns on Sunday, December 5 with reigning champions Sydney Sixers taking on the Melbourne Stars at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The home and away season features 56 games in 46 days.
The five-match Finals series is scheduled to begin on Friday, January 21, with The Eliminator, The Qualifier and The Knockout taking place across three consecutive nights. The Challenger follows on Wednesday, January 26, with The Final on Friday, January 28.
In all, 45 KFC BBL|11 matches will be broadcast on Seven, with all 61 matches to be broadcast on Foxtel and Kayo. SEN will also broadcast KFC BBL|11 matches nationwide.