SASKATOON -- As sports around the world adapted to the pandemic, changing rules, regulations and guidelines, things were no different in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).

Dedicating more resources to expanding the league’s online viewership paid off big time, said Brad Kraft, vice president of the Saskatchewan Rattlers.

“In 2019 I think we had a few thousand viewers per game and we're talking now over a million viewership,” Kraft said.

Kraft said the league’s online reach isn’t limited to Canada. He said people from around the world are now watching their games, driving the popularity up even higher.

Still, 2020 was still a difficult season and the goal is still to get to a point where one day the SaskTel Centre will be filled again with excited fans.

“We’ll be prepared based on what limits and capacities are with or without fans, but our number one goal is to be back in the stands with all our fans, and friends, and family with us,” said Kraft.

Kraft said there is still some work to be done while planning the 2021 season and the schedule should come out sometime in early February. He also said they are looking ahead to 2022.

“The league is developing a lot more rapidly that we expected,” said Kraft. He said CEBL is becoming a top-10 global basketball league.

“We have fantastic fans in Saskatchewan, but I don’t think that’s a secret to anyone who follows any sport. Lots of people on social media wishing us well and engaging in our content,” said Kraft.