THIS IS it - finishing touches are being put on Ballarat's newest indoor stadium, one week before players take to the floor. Basketball Ballarat officially took management control of the $24 million Ballarat Sports and Events Centre on Friday.
Community action tips off on July 15.
Basketball Ballarat operations manager Mark Valentine said there was still a bit of tidying up to do but it was exciting to soon have basketball and netball action get started on the new courts.
I think every player is longing to get on the courts and run around in this big arena.Mark Valentine, Basketball Ballarat operations manager
"I think every player is longing to get on the courts and run around in this big arena," Mr Valentine said.
"(Miners and Rush basketball teams) really want a look. Players will be amazed at their new change rooms. They were already all right considering the rooms they get at some other venues. The new rooms will be a little like the American college style locker rooms with individual lockers in team colours and all different compartments for players.
"It's a much bigger space."
Players from marquee basketball teams Miners and Rush will wait until next NBL1 season before moving into the stadium, regardless of home-game play-off potential. They will continue to play out their 2019 campaigns at the Mars Minerdome.
But, when teams made the move, Mr Valentine said the step up in facilities would help to make a big off-court difference to their game - like white-boards for match analysis.
BSEC aims to ease court pressure and offer major event opportunity for indoor sports, including badminton and volleyball. Facilities will also be shared with University of the Third Age for lectures and movement classes needing floor space.
Stage one redevelopment is built on federal, state and council funding and will deliver six additional courts to the two in the original arena. Retractable seating in the showcourt arena will allow for a 3000-strong crowd, in a u-shape, for sporting, community and entertainment events. A big-screen will be fit at one end of the court.
The stadium is already allowing Ballarat to firm its stance as a major regional sporting hub with a string of state and national basketball tournaments already booked in. National under-14 club championships in September will be the first large-scale test for the stadium.
A further $5.2 million stage two funding, secured in the lead-up to November's state election, will allow for a strength and conditioning gym for elite teams and community members to be run in partnership with Federation University sports science students.
READ MORE: The state promise
Stage two will also deliver a uniform skin to extend to cover the stadium's original two-court arena and four purpose-built three-on-three courts.
Basketball Ballarat will take a week to settle in and get the stadium running before officially opening doors.
MAJOR STEPS ON PATH TO UPGRADE
2004-05: Minerdome upgrades to host basketball for Commonwealth Games in March 2006.
2010: Indoor sports groups enter talks to address critical court shortage.
March 2012: Plans for new six-court facility in Wendouree made public.
May 2013: Council commits to deliver major new indoor sports facility in five-year plan.
2014: Labor state government delivers $9 million, Council $5 million.
2015-16: Project knocked back three times for federal grant.
July 31, 2017: Federal government announces $10 million for project.
March 2018: First sod turned on project.
November 2018: $5.2 million state boost for stage two.
July 2019: Stadium opens
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