Newcastle Basketball welcomes the commitment from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to build a $25 million basketball stadium at Hillsborough but we are also very conscious of the time frame around this.
Basketball in this region is currently played at a 50-year-old facility that is in rapid decline and we would love to see this project funded in the upcoming June budget.
“We have worked very hard to get to this point and we will continue to liaise with government to get the best outcome for our members,” General Manager Neil Goffet said.
“Our current facility is falling down around us, so to have a commitment like this is amazing and we really hope that the $25 million can be included in the June budget and we can get this project started as soon as possible.
It is an exciting time for Newcastle Basketball and the new stadium would enable the association to continue its push for a team in the Women’s National Basketball League.
“We have maintained dialogue with Basketball Australia regarding the WNBL and this certainly helps a lot,” Mr Goffet said. “Obviously they wouldn’t let us play out of the decrepit facility at Broadmeadow so this announcement will elevate those conversations.”
Newcastle Basketball was named 2017 Association of the Year by governing body Basketball NSW, we provide one of the largest Sporting Schools programs in Australia and have almost doubled participation numbers over the past three years.
The current Newcastle Basketball Stadium is the 4th home of the association and was opened in May, 1969 when Newcastle, captained by Olympic legend Terry Charlton, defeated Sydney Paratels.
“The association has outgrown the current facility so we need a new stadium for basketball to continue to prosper in this region,” Charlton said.
Founded in 1946, Newcastle is one of the most successful associations in Australia having won 20 men’s state titles, five ladies state championships and a host of youth and junior state crowns.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the 4000-seat facility would be built on land contributed by Lake Macquarie City Council.
“This new facility will become the home for Newcastle Basketball and support other indoor sport codes,” Mr MacDonald said.
“I acknowledge the strong and sustained advocacy by Greg Piper MP, who recognises the value of a world-class indoor sports facility for the region.”
Mr Piper, Independent Member for Lake Macquarie, welcomed the commitment to build the new centre at Hillsborough.
“This will be a fantastic indoor sports stadium, not just for Lake Macquarie but for the whole Hunter Region,” Mr Piper said.
“I’ve had a number of meetings with the Premier and Scot MacDonald about this project and I’m very happy that they’ve listened and committed the funding. I also congratulate Neil Goffet and everyone at Newcastle Basketball for undertaking this project and seeing such great opportunity in Lake Macquarie.”
Pictured at the Hillsborough site of the proposed $25 million new home for Newcastle Basketball (from left to right): Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald, Newcastle Basketball Life Member and Rome Olympian Terry Charlton, Newcastle Basketball General Manager Neil Goffet, Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper, Basketball Australia Deputy Chair David Reid.