$25 million stadium on its way

BASKETBALLERS are rejoicing following today’s announcement that a new $25 million indoor sports stadium, to be operated by Newcastle Basketball, will begin within the next 12 months.

Today’s state budget allocated $13.4 million for an immediate start on the project with the remainder to be funded next year.

The new facility will be constructed at Hillsborough with 10 courts and seating for 4000 spectators and is the most significant investment in the history of basketball in the region.

“This is fantastic news for everyone involved in basketball and a range of other sports that will also utilise the facility,” Newcastle Basketball general manager Neil Goffet said.

“The support we have received from the State Government, Lake Macquarie City Council and Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper has been incredible.

“Now we can get started and hopefully have the development application lodged as quickly as possible and get this finished before the existing stadium falls to the ground.”

The new facility will allow Newcastle Basketball to continue its push for entry into the Women’s National Basketball League.

Any return to the men’s National Basketball League would be heavily reliant on private investment but that is certainly an option to be considered.

“The number of events this will attract to the region is hard to comprehend,” Goffet said.

“There are so many tournaments just in basketball that are crying out for a stadium of this size so it will be a tremendous asset for the entire region.”

* Pictured at Hillsborough site of the proposed $25 million new home for Newcastle Basketball (from left to right): Former 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.