Published on : Thursday, October 3, 2019
NBL is back big-time this year at Melbourne Arena with basketball fans the first to experience a new multimedia cube hanging above the court, additional scoreboards, and enhanced lighting at tonight’s season opener as part of the $15.4 million upgrade.
Dubbed ‘The Throwdown’, it will be Melbourne’s first NBL derby clash between 2018-19 Grand Finalists Melbourne United and new comers South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Since 2000, Melbourne Arena has played host to nearly 2,000 major events from the Australian Open to NBL, International Ice Hockey, cycling, boxing, dancesports, netball, gymnastics, Disney On Ice, and other superstars.
Stage One improvements bring an NBA-like atmosphere to Melbourne Arena, taking the fan experience to a whole new level with installation of new enhanced lighting on the court’s ‘cube’ audio-visual advancements, a 15-metre main entry LED screen, two new scoreboards, new corporate seating stages as well as broadcast upgrades now complete.
Further audio visual, lighting and safety upgrades are planned as well as providing even more opportunities for fans to get closer to the action on match day.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested $13 million to improve the 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.
This also includes the redevelopment of the State Basketball Centre, 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).
The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said that they 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.
Melbourne and Olympic Parks CEO John Harnden said that this investment, coupled with the $972 Melbourne Park redevelopment, is helping entrench Melbourne’s reputation as the sporting and entertainment capital of the world.
Melbourne United Chief Executive Officer Vince Crivelli said that they have an excitement and energy in the arena when the players are getting up and down the court is unlike any other entertainment offering in the country, and that shall only be enhanced with these upgrades.
South East Melbourne Phoenix General Manager Thomas Greer said that they feel everyone’s anticipation for the first SEM Phoenix home game at the upgraded Melbourne Arena to see for them the entertainment package that we have put together.