A POSSIBLE WNBL home grand final at the Bendigo Stadium is going to be expensive for the Bendigo Bank Spirit, with the additional seating required to cost $50,000.
The Spirit are fighting hard to ensure that if they finish in the top two and win the second semi-final, they will host the WNBL grand final on Sunday, March 10.
The Spirit learned on Thursday that Basketball Australia had cast doubt over a Bendigo Stadium grand final, citing a number of factors, including capacity.
The Bendigo Stadium – which has hosted Commonwealth Games basketball and many other international games – has a capacity of 2000.
However, Basketball Australia has stated its WNBL grand final venue must seat at least 3000 people.
But the Spirit have been working in conjunction with the Bendigo Stadium to resolve the capacity issues and are confident they will have the seating to meet Basketball Australia’s requirements.
It will come at a hefty price though, with the additional 1000 portable seats that would be set up at both ends of the court to cost $50,000 – $50 a seat.
“We’re in the process of getting quotes, but it’s very expensive at around $50 a seat,” Spirit administration officer Jess Lee said yesterday.
“We’ve been in contact today with the City of Greater Bendigo major events department, who have indicated they will assist somewhat, but we also have to look at other avenues and try to get community support to get the extra money so that we can hold the game here.
“Obviously, it’s a massive cost, but you can’t put a price on the advantage of playing a home final in front of your home crowd.”
The Spirit will send a submission to Basketball Australia early next week showing that they can meet the requirements to host the grand final if they earn the right to.
“We’re in good spirits about it and we hope that we can have it all sorted by the end of next week,” Lee said.