DEC upgrade on track despite $20 million blowout
The redevelopment of the Derwent Entertainment Centre is on track to be completed for the Tasmania JackJumpers’ entry into the NBL at the start of the 2021/22 Season.
Meanwhile, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has said the cost of the redevelopment has increased 40 per cent from initial estimates in early 2020 – from $46 million to $66 million.
The blowout has been blamed on the complexities of a major stadium redevelopment, the tight project time frames and Tasmania’s buoyant construction market.
With stage one demolition works of the DEC finished, NBL owner Larry Kestelman inspected the site in mid-December and declared the redeveloped venue will be ready for tip-off in October.
“We will make sure this venue is up and running for the October start of the season,” Kestelman said. “I would love for the first game of the season to be launched with the new team, that would be amazing.
Kestelman added that the DEC won’t just be built as a basketball stadium but to lure “global events” to Tasmania, something the state “absolutely deserves”. “It is an extraordinarily valuable product for Tasmania.
We intend to turn it into the nest for the JackJumpers but much more so into a community place where people can gather and be uplifted and entertained,” he said.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein (@GutweinTeam), NBL owner Larry Kestelman and JackJumpers CEO Simon Brookhouse were on hand today in Hobart to give an update on the team and upgrades on The Nest 🐜#JoinTheMarch pic.twitter.com/FF3xhTjUNR— Tasmania JackJumpers 🐜 (@JackJumpers) December 14, 2020
Tasmanian-based builder Vos Construction has been awarded the contract for the second and major construction stage after the first stage was completed late last year.
The State Government will contribute a further $15 million to take the total government spend to $56m, with NBL owner Larry Kestelman’s LK Group responsible for any further cost.
The new NBL franchise already has in excess of 2500 foundation members signed-up ahead of their inaugural campaign.