The new NBL season tips-off in Melbourne on Thursday night with the new local derby between United & Phoenix, with fans set to witness a range of improvements at Melbourne Arena.
The new-born rivalry between Melbourne United and new team South East Melbourne Phoenix is being dubbed the Throwdown and the inaugural clash is set for a sell-out with less than 400 tickets remaining just hours prior to the game.
Stage One improvements at Melbourne Arena bring an NBA-like atmosphere, taking the fan experience to a whole new level with an enhanced video cube above the court featuring additional LEDs and lighting, new perimeter LED signs within the venue, two new video scoreboards, a 15-metre main entry LED screen, new corporate seating stages and broadcast upgrades.
Further audio visual, lighting and safety upgrades are also planned as well as providing even more opportunities for fans to get closer to the action on match day.
The Victorian Government has invested $13 million to improve the 10,300-seat Melbourne Arena, with the Melbourne & Olympic Parks contributing $2.4 million. The investment is part of the Government’s commitment to make Victoria the Basketball Capital of Australia.
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This also includes the redevelopment of the State Basketball Centre at Wantirna South ($82 million), a business case into the construction of a new arena at the State Basketball Centre ($1 million) and the expansion of Basketball Victoria’s high-performance programs through the establishment of seven regional hubs ($5 million).
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula spoke of the improvements.
“We know how much Victorians love their basketball and the new look Melbourne Arena is set to bring fans even closer to the action – from major sporting events to global superstars, the arena will entertain thousands.”
The new NBL season will also see the Adelaide 36ers play their home games at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre which has also seen a number of improvements including a new giants video cube, while the Brisbane Bullets have moved to the Queensland State Netball Centre.