As they prepare to head north for a showdown with Townsville on New Year’s Eve, the Deakin Melbourne Boomers are calling for more marquee games in the WNBL each season.
Already the custodians of two feature matches each year – billed as the Holiday Eve games on the night before the Melbourne Cup each November and the eve of Australia Day in January – the Boomers are giving the thumbs up to Townsville’s December 31st game and calling on more big matches in the schedule moving forward.
“These marquee games are perfect for the WNBL and we need to build on them,” said Boomers General Manager, Justin Nelson.
“Across the Summer period in particular, on days or nights when families are looking for quality entertainment, the WNBL is perfect. Watch a great game, meet the players, get some autographs and enjoy some family time. Personally I think we need more of it.”
The Boomers have proven that marquee games in the WNBL can draw big crowds. Last season’s 2,500-strong audience at their Australia Day Eve showdown with Dandenong proved to be the biggest crowd of the entire WNBL season.
Nelson believes Townsville will this weekend prove that there is also an appetite for the WNBL on New Year’s Eve.
“I know Perth hosted Townsville last year on the same night, so it’s not unprecedented. Being played in Townsville this time around, I think you’ll see a really good crowd turn up to be a part of it,” said Nelson.
“Families are looking for good entertainment and an opportunity to see their children connect with strong, positive and healthy role models. I’m yet to meet a person who isn’t inspired when they meet and talk with a WNBL player. It’s a great fit.”
“Going forward I hope the New Year’s Eve game continues and like us with our Melbourne Cup and Australia Day eve games, it becomes a marquee game each season in the WNBL,” added Nelson.
For Boomers Coach Guy Molloy, the chance to play in another marquee game is both something the players are looking forward to and an event he is pleased to see Melbourne participating in.
“The Boomers are really strong on bringing more big games into the schedule and we are always pleased when we are playing a part,” said Molloy.
“The players are looking forward to the New Year’s Eve game in Townsville, there will no doubt be a big crowd and it will be a tough environment for us, but playing sport at the highest level is always better when big crowds turn up to see the athletes.”
There will be little time for the Boomers to see in the New Year with an early flight back to Melbourne on New Year’s day ahead of preparations for a trip to Geelong to play Adelaide.
“Behind the scenes I know everyone at the Club is looking forward to playing in Geelong, in its own right it is another marquee game, a chance for the WNBL to spread its wings and play in a very popular region for basketball,” added Molloy.
Tickets for the Boomers vs Lightning game in Geelong on Saturday January 7 (7:30pm tip-off) are now on sale and available HERE.