Adelaide 36ers to leave their home of 27 years and play at the Entertainment Centre from next season
MARCH 17, 2019
The Adelaide 36ers are leaving their home of 27 years to play at the Entertainment Centre from next season.
The NBL club has played at Findon's Adelaide Arena - formerly known as the Powerhouse - since 1992 and its move to the AEC on Port Road is a significant step towards bringing basketball into the city like AFL’s move from West Lakes to Adelaide Oval.
The Sixers hope the new venue that will be more accessible by public transport including the tram line, boasting a bigger capacity of 9915, more advanced lightning and sound systems and catering will make for a better game-day experience for fans.
The club has renegotiated its current contract with Adelaide Arena which had two years left to run and will still use the venue as a training and administration base and to host a pre-season game each year.
It's understood the Adelaide Lightning, which recently changed ownership, will continue to play at the arena.
The 36ers admit the move may mean the cost of season tickets will increase but they will attempt to issue current members with like-for-like seats and have promise them cushioned seats in an airconditioned venue.
The Entertainment Centre, which has hosted national and international netball games in recent years, can accommodate nearly 10,000 basketball fans which is 2000 more than Adelaide Arena, and members can attend an 'open night’ to inspect their seats and request changes.
Adelaide 36ers owner Grant Kelley has been considering the move for two years and was convinced it would work after watching the Thunderbirds play Collingwood in the Super Netball League at the Entertainment Centre last July.
The 36ers hope the move to the Entertainment Centre will make basketball more accessible for fans and provide a better game-day experience. Picture: Matt Loxton.
"In an elite sport like basketball big home crowds help to win games," Kelley said.
“We want to deliver what other clubs are doing interstate and the Adelaide Entertainment Centre is the ideal home for the Adelaide 36ers to continue to evolve and grow as a club, for both our fans and players.”
According to the Sixers, new NBL champions the Perth Wildcats’ move to their new city stadium in 2012 triggered a membership uplift of almost 2700 in two years and they now boast average crowds of just over 13,000 per home game.
Adelaide’s average crowd was 6100 this year but the club believes it had a difficult fixture and is determined to host more Friday and Saturday night games in 2019-20.
They plan to hold a post-game function at the Entertainment Centre after every home game and the cost of carparking will remain the same as the arena.
NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger welcomed Adelaide’s move to the new venue.
“(It) will enable the 36ers to grow their attendances at games by providing first class facilities within close proximity of the city,” Loeliger said.
“The move reinforces the strong growth of the NBL and our position of one of Australia’s leading sports entertainment products and we look forward to seeing fans embrace the new venue.”
Adelaide 36ers chairman Steven Trigg said the success of football’s move to Adelaide Oval from 2014 had influenced the club’s decision.
“The upgraded Adelaide Oval has changed the expectations of the Adelaide sport-going public. They now expect first-class facilities, convenient locations and ease of access,” Trigg said.
“We have been working closely with the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and we are excited for the new experience. The sightlines, the cushioned seats and fans seated in and around the court, will make the atmosphere electric for our members, fans and players.”
Sixers chief executive Ben Kavenagh said the club appreciated the “exceptional support” it had from Adelaide Arena for nearly three decades.
“Titanium Security Arena will always hold great memories for the Adelaide 36ers and I would like to thank the stadium’s management for providing a great home for the Sixers for so many years,” he said.
“Our club has enjoyed great success at the arena, including three championships, Titanium Security Arena will always hold great memories for the Sixers.”