The Melbourne Tigers are happy with the current arrangement at the Melbourne State Hockey and Netball Centre and the future looks rosy with plans including the construction of a new stadium and the continued growth into south east Asia, while at the grass roots level basketball is as strong as ever in Victoria.
The Centre currently fulfills demand for basketball in Victoria which according to Mark Robinson is getting back to the hype of the 90’s. “Our crowds have been solid for the first few games and the feedback and coverage has been quite strong…we know at grass roots level that basketball is as strong as it’s ever been”.
Mark Robinson CEO of the Melbourne Tigers told austadiums.com that Vodafone Arena was unlikely to ever host a regular season basketball match again. “Unlikely, as the general feedback is that Vodafone is not a great stadium to watch basketball from”. Although the possibility of Vodafone being host to the finals remains, Robinson said they are more then happy with the arrangements at the State Hockey and Netball Centre. “We are happy with the State Netball and Hockey Centre…very viable financially and whilst smaller has a great atmosphere…we seem to be able to encompass all people…and to be selling out is a good thing”.
This growth in the grass roots level in Victoria may in the future lead to the construction of a purpose-built basketball stadium for the Melbourne Tigers. “Obviously we want to build our base and in time, we would expect to outgrow it and look for other options…we are looking at all options including the feasibility of building a stadium”
While Melbourne Tigers believes it has not gained any advantage financially since the closure of the Victoria Titans. “You lose tribalism and sometimes their fans don’t automatically come and barrack for us…it sends a bad message to sponsors and media about the state of the game…it might just say something about the state of one team not the sport”
Robinson said that the Tigers had many possibilities but this did not include basing itself in south-east Asia. “The Asian market is very important to the Melbourne tigers… and also for the league… but I doubt the club would ever relocate; We are the Melbourne Tigers and that heritage is all important”
By CHRIS EGAN