The scene is set for tonight’s showdown between the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and fierce rival Dandenong Rangers with a record crowd expected to turn out for the opening clash of this season’s Michele Timms Cup.
Following on from last year’s holiday eve successes, where record crowds attended marquee games featuring the Boomers on Melbourne Cup eve (against Townsville) and Australia Day eve (against Dandenong), pre-sales indicate this season’s offering will be even bigger.
Set for tip-off at 7:30pm, the State Basketball Centre clash has Deakin Melbourne Boomers GM Justin Nelson excited about the ongoing growth of a concept he delivered to the WNBL prior to the 2015/16 season.
“The two holiday eve dates just stood out like beacons and prior to last season I just saw it as an ideal opportunity for Melbourne to help grow its position in a very busy marketplace, but also for the WNBL to have some significant impact on the growing summer sports calendar,” says Nelson (pictured).
The theory and belief paid off, especially on Australia Day eve when a record WNBL crowd of 2,500 turned up to witness a derby between the Boomers and Rangers, an audience that topped all games in the 2015/16 season, including finals.
“Last season proved there’s a real thirst for the WNBL on the holiday eves and we’re hoping to grow that again this season. We want these two dates to be cemented in people’s calendars and for Melbourne Boomers fans to expect big games and great entertainment before relaxing on a public holiday,” added Nelson.
Newly appointed Boomers staff member Lauren Jackson is also buzzing ahead of tonight’s game, labelling the WNBL showdown as a great sign that the league continues to be popular amongst the community.
“This game is evidence that the support for women’s basketball is growing,” says Jackson.
“The holiday eve concept and delivery that Melbourne has put together rates right up there with what I have seen and been a part of around the world. The members and supporters are in for a very entertaining night out.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this, it’s a fantastic concept and is already showing signs that it will just keep getting bigger each season,” added Jackson.
WHAT: Cup Eve Blockbuster
WHO: Deakin Melbourne Boomers vs Dandenong Rangers
WHERE: State Basketball Centre (Wantirna Sth, High Street Rd exit off Eastlink)
WHEN: Monday October 31, 7:30pm tip-off
TICKETS: At the door or online at www.trybooking.com/BOOMERS