The Adelaide 36ers have won the NBL minor premiership for the first time since the year 2000. An amazing achievement given the evenness of the 2016/2017 NBL season. In fact they are currently five games clear at the top of the ladder, which if you know anything currently about the NBL, you would understand that it clearly makes them the best team in the land.
It has raised debate though as to where Adelaide’s finals games will be played. At the Sixers usual home of Titanium Security Arena (TSA) or down the road at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC)? Surely this is a no brainer and games will remain at Titanium Security Arena, no matter the various obstacles that may stand in the way.
There is an Adelaide Thunderbirds game scheduled during potential Grand Final Series dates should Adelaide make it that far. Surely sporting administrators can be clever and schedule around this. It is not that difficult. I am not sure who made that decision in the first place, but surely finals games were a possibility going into the year and you would not have booked any potential date clashes? Maybe they were taken by surpise at the late announcement by the NBL of a best of five Grand Final Series.
Another issue that is hotly debated is how to achieve the greatest attendance numbers. Yes, you might squeeze a few more fans into the AEC, but at what cost? It would not be a cheap exercise to hire out the AEC and in my opinion if fans have not turned up week in, week out during the regular season, they do not really deserve to be saved a ticket to the finals.
Shifting the games to the AEC would also deny Sixers fans the atmosphere and a true home court advantage that TSA provides. Anyone who has previously watched sport at the AEC will know that it is a terrible place to watch a game. The venue is simply not suited or designed for sporting contests and as a result the life is sucked out of the place.
Last year a similar argument centred around Adelaide United shifting the A-League Grand Final to Adelaide Oval. A few years prior, the Adelaide Thunderbirds moved their Grand Final from Priceline Stadium to the AEC. Both games lost the usual atmosphere and feel of their respective sports by the shifting of venues.
In addition, the Adelaide 36ers have only recently purchased a score-cube at TSA that allows you to see a screen no matter where you sit in the venue. Anyone who knows TSA well, knows how big a deal this actually is. What was the point of that if you are not going to play the big games of the year there? TSA is by no means a world-class venue, but it is currently the home of basketball in South Australia and there is just no obvious reason to change venues at this stage of the year.
Perhaps this is the perfect storm which sport in Adelaide needed to have. What this situation has done is create yet another reason to demolish Memorial Drive and build a multi-purpose venue on that site. A venue that is actually got the correct dimensions for a game of basketball, but can also be used for netball and tennis, as well as arena concerts. One venue would make scheduling issues easier to manage and turn around times between events far easier to work through. Almost every other state in Australia has an arena of this nature, and it is time Adelaide joined the party. It just makes sense now more than ever and would also be great for basketball in South Australia, but that is another debate.
See you at Titanium Securiry Arena for the Swisse NBL Finals Series!
Picture – Adelaide 36ers