History shows that creating and then sustaining an elite-level sporting team in central Victoria is hugely difficult.
The obvious example is Bendigo's Victorian Football League team, which failed after a decade of ups and, mostly, downs as the Diggers, Bombers or Gold.
Years without on-field success and the lack of a permanent base for members and supporters did not help, while the club was never able to bring in the money needed to keep pace with its opponents.
For a long time, the Bendigo Spirit looked like it might be the team that broke the mould.
The Women's National Basketball League team was the toast of the town from 2012 until 2015, when it won two championships and was beaten in a third grand final.
It was a team with personality, strong public appeal and a clearly identifiable, local face in Kristi Harrower, one of Bendigo's best ever athletes.
In the years since, the club has eased some of its financial instability thanks to a partnership with the Bendigo Stadium, which has been transformed into one of the best basketball facilities in Australia.
But since the golden era, matters on the court are less positive.
Harrower's retirement and the departure of Kelsey Griffin, a four-time MVP for the club, meant the Spirit were left without their biggest stars.
Performances on the court have suffered, and so have attendances.
This season started positively, with a new coach and a handful of returning players, including Tessa Lavey and Kelly Wilson, combining for two early wins.
But at the halfway point of the campaign, the Spirit has been on the receiving end of a couple of heavy defeats, released its US import Becca Tobin and fallen to the bottom of the ladder.
A much-needed win this weekend on the road against Adelaide would show that this is just a downturn in form, rather than a sign of a more serious problem.
It might also bring some of those fans who revelled in the good times back to the Bendigo Stadium.