FATHER’S Day tipped off with an incredible announcement by the Premier Daniel Andrews, pledging a $126m election package for the State Basketball Centre expansion as well as the entire Victorian basketball community.
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Deputy Premier James Merlino and Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey, as well as other special guests, were on hand to make the announcement on Sunday morning that a returned Andrews Labor Government will create a showcase basketball centrepiece in Wantirna South for all Victorians.
- Andrews Labor Government makes $126m election promise to back State Basketball Centre redevelopment and Victorian basketball
- Redeveloped SBC to include 16 courts, expanded administration facilities and a Victorian Centre of Excellence for High Performance athletes across the state
- Will become the home of the newest NBL franchise and Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence
- The biggest investment in basketball infrastructure in Australian history
The announcement comes with the news the ninth NBL franchise will be located at the redeveloped State Basketball Centre, further cementing Victoria’s place as the pinnacle of Australian basketball.
The crown jewel of Australian basketball, the redeveloped State Basketball Centre would will be the national home of our sport as it will include 10 brand new basketball courts – expanding the venue to 16 courts in total – as well as the creation of a Victorian Centre of Excellence incorporating two exclusive courts.
The redevelopment also would feature revamped administration facilities for Basketball Victoria, Basketball Australia, Knox Basketball Inc, the Melbourne Boomers WNBL team and a potential second Melbourne NBL franchise.
The Andrews Labor Government will also invest $5 million to establish seven new high-performance basketball hubs around the state. These hubs will provide young players with elite basketball training programs, allowing them to train at the highest level in their local area with a clear pathway to playing elite level basketball in Australia or in the WNBA, NBA or other international leagues.
A re-elected Labor Government will also invest $13 million to upgrade Melbourne Arena, formerly Hisense Arena, to better cater for a range of sports, including basketball and netball.
The Andrews Labor Government will also look to the future with $1 million to develop a business case to build the Knox Arena, a new 6,000 to 8,000 seat stadium at Knox that would bring major sports and entertainment events to Melbourne’s suburbs.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, speaking today at the State Basketball Centre, said basketball’s importance to Victorian sporting culture mean
“This is a really important day for basketball for our entire state,” Mr. Andrews said. “When you think about it, Victoria is the home of basketball in Australia with around 50 per cent of all those who play basketball are indeed Victorians.
“Whether you play at the community level, the club level or have aspirations of representing Australia or even playing overseas, we are determined to give you a pathway to get there – you and your kids.
“This is such an important part of our sporting culture and today that’s why I’m so very pleased to be here… $126m to grow basketball and support basketball to be an even bigger part of our sporting culture.”
Basketball Victoria CEO Nick Honey said the announcement was a sign of basketball’s popularity throughout the Victorian community and the SBC redevelopment would bring greater opportunities for players and staff across Victoria.
“The redeveloped State Basketball Centre will be a phenomenal addition to the Victorian basketball infrastructure,” Honey said. “The additional 10 courts – taking the venue to 16 overall – will give more players a chance to take the court and slash court waiting times drastically in the area.
“This redevelopment will also allow us to expand our High Performance programs through the additional Centre of Excellence and provide better court access to the local community – especially for Knox Basketball Inc. and its domestic, junior and representative teams.
“We congratulate the Andrews Labor Government on this announcement and look forward to working with all levels of government to ensure the best infrastructure developments for the benefit of basketball.”
The redevelopment will be funded by the Victorian Government and Knox City Council as part of its Master Plan to create an elite international-calibre sporting precinct within the city.
The State Basketball Centre has been the home of the Melbourne Boomers WNBL team since 2013, with the Boomers setting a WNBL attendance record of 3,665 in 2018.
The venue also hosts the Australian Schools Championships and a number of Basketball Victoria-run events including the Champions Cup, Hoop Time finals, Southern Cross Challenge, the National Junior Classic and our Melbourne Utd. Victorian Junior Basketball League (MUVJBL) VC grand finals.