In a boost to basketball and local sports, the Allan Government has unveiled the new State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, Victoria.
Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos officially opened the facility, heralding a new era for basketball players and fans across the state.
Premier Jacinta Allan commented,
“We invest in projects like this because they create Victorian jobs, support fans and local communities, and give talented young people a better shot at success.”
Minister Steve Dimopoulos added, “Victorians love basketball more than any other state, and this investment means more Victorians can take part and dream of emulating their heroes around the world.”
The world-class centre, constructed with a heavy emphasis on local resources, features 18 indoor courts, including 12 new ones for community use. This expansion ensures that Victoria remains a leading hub for basketball, catering to various levels from NBL and WNBL matches to grass-roots competitions.
Jobs and Industry Minister Natalie Hutchins highlighted the project’s contribution to local employment and training, noting the significant use of Victorian resources and workforce in the construction.
Central to the development is a dedicated high-performance training and administration facility, which will be home to NBL team South-East Melbourne Phoenix and the WNBL’s Southside Flyers. These facilities will also support local sports organisations, fostering basketball’s growth in Victoria for future generations.
The Knox Regional Sports Park precinct has been enhanced with a new town square, complete with food and beverage outlets, and improved road access, making it more accessible to locals and visitors. The project, amounting to $132 million, received a $105 million investment from the Victorian Government and an additional $27 million from Knox City Council.
Development Victoria and ADCO Constructions prioritized local manufacturing in the construction, using locally produced steel and sourcing over 90 per cent of materials from within Victoria. The project created more than 500 construction jobs, with an additional 100 ongoing positions to support the centre’s operations.
Upgrades to the original six basketball courts and adjacent administrative and function spaces are in progress, with completion expected by mid-2024. This further investment cements Victoria’s status as Australia’s basketball heartland, a state where basketball participation has surged by more than four per cent annually since 2010.
The State Basketball Centre is set to host a major NBL game between the South-East Melbourne Phoenix and the Adelaide 36ers, showcasing its high-performance areas.
Local representatives, including Jackson Taylor and Michael Galea, praised the centre for its expected positive impact on the community and local economy. Knox City Council Mayor Jude Dwight expressed pride in the region’s continued prominence in Australian basketball and the benefits the upgraded facilities will bring to locals of all backgrounds and abilities.
The State Basketball Centre stands as a testament to Victoria’s commitment to sports, community development, and economic growth, positioning the state as a leading destination for basketball enthusiasts and professionals alike.
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