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VenuesWest to open new WA Basketball Centre
The second stage of Perth's developing sporting precinct surrounding Challenge Stadium is almost complete, with the keys to the city's new basketball centre handed over to managers VenuesWest.
The combined cost of the AK Reserve athletics stadium, which opened earlier this year and which will host the country's top athletes at the National championships next year, and the basketball centre, which will be formally opened on 24th January, put at $73.4 million.
And while the fate and future of Perth's major outdoor stadium still continues to haunt the Western Australian Government, WA Sports Minister Terry Waldron, has said that completion of the facility was more evidence of WA's growing sporting infrastructure.
As Minster Waldron explained, "this will be fantastic not only for basketball but for the community and for other sports to utilise as well.
"It is a special precinct now really, with Challenge Stadium and McGillivray sports grounds, a new athletics stadium, basketball and a rugby facility and the Institute of Sport.
"You would love to be able to spend a lot more on sporting facilities.
"We tend to focus on major facilities which are really important, but there is a lot going on at local community level in the suburbs and in country towns."
The new stadium features eight courts, with a 2,000 seat centre show court (with 900 retractable seats), state-of-the-art lighting and a high quality maple floor.
With the Perth Wildcats set to move their entire operation, including their training program, to the stadium in the coming weeks, Wildcats Chief Executive Nick Marvin is convinced the new facility will help the club prosper, as well as the sport.
"This is wonderful news for basketball, and will make our club and the sport far more attractive ... participation levels (in) basketball across the country are always among the highest of any sport in this country."
Courts at the new venue are also marked for volleyball, badminton and netball; and it also features a cafe and bar, reception area, and multi-use changing rooms.
VenuesWest was launched in May as the new trading name for the WA Sports Centre Trust, managers of the Challenge Stadium, Arena Joondalup, Perth Motorplex and the SpeedDome. During 2010, the WA Athletics Stadium and the State Basketball Centre have taken the number of VenuesWest facilities to six while the Government of Western Australia has also entrusted VenuesWest with responsibility for the iconic Perth Arena due for completion in 2011.
As Chairman Graham Partridge explains "Perth Arena is one of the most anticipated public projects in recent years (and) we look forward to our new role as client and owner and expect this first class sporting and entertainment venue in the second half of 2011."
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