Former Bunnings Warehouse set to temporarily host the Taipans

Austadiums   |  Monday 13th July 2020

The Cairns Taipans look set to call a pop-up basketball arena home for the majority of the upcoming NBL season while their regular home is out of action.

It was revealed last month that the $176 million upgrade of the Cairns Convention Centre would be delayed by three months, leaving the Taipans without a home for most of the 2020/21 NBL season.

The Convention Centre is the only venue up to NBL standard in Cairns and the only viable alternative appeared to be playing home games in Townsville – a four-hour journey by road, however the Queensland Government has thrown their support behind the NBL club and put forward a proposal to keep the Taipans in Cairns.

Under the proposal, the former Bunnings Warehouse in Spence Street (opposite Barlow Park) would be converted into a temporary 2,000-seat basketball arena capable of hosting NBL matches.

The current basketball court would be transferred from the Convention Centre to the new site. As well as grandstand seating for a couple of thousand spectators, it would also feature temporary changeroom facilities, public amenities, air conditioning, large format fans, catering facilities and equipment.

The temporary venue will also have broadcast lighting, video scoreboards, PA systems and acoustic curtains to ensure it meets minimum FIBA and broadcast standards.

The Queensland State Government will cover all costs involved.

While the Taipans are yet to confirm a move to the temporary venue until the renovated Convention Centre becomes available again in February, the club did issue a statement on Monday morning thanking the State Government for their support.

The 2020-21 NBL season is due to start in early December and run through to April.

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