Lo­cal sup­port and spon­sor­ship se­cured club from ex­tinc­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

T O W N S V I L L E ’ S r e s c u e from WNBL obliv­ion has en­sured the Fire will burn brighter than ever, ac­cord­ing to club bosses.

Townsville Bas­ket­ball di­rec­tor Trevor Roberts said spon­sor­ship and sup­port of the club would not only en­sure longevity of the club, but guar­an­tee a high-pro­file ex­is­tence.

Money at­tracted in the weeks since the club put out a fi­nan­cial ‘‘ cry for help’’ is now enough for the out­fit to en­ter the player mar­ket for a mar­quee name.

Short­falls, Roberts said, had been ‘‘ bridged’’, with the fo­cus quickly turn­ing to im­prov­ing the north’s premier women’s sport­ing fran­chise.

‘‘ What we’ve looked to do is a d v a n c e t h e Roberts said.

‘‘ Cer­tainly we’ve needed more cash in­put to sus­tain the team and build on that suc­cess. One of those things is a mar­quee player.’’

While fi­nan­cial pa­per­work still re­quires com­ple­tion, Roberts said the lo­cal com­mu­nity and ex­ist­ing back­ers had ral­lied around the em-

p r o g r a m, ’ ’ bat­tled team.

He also re­vealed that the Townsville City Coun­cil and Que e n s l a n d Gov e r n ment and Townsville Croc­o­diles NBL club had en­tered into part­ner­ships with the Fire.

While Roberts wouldn’t go into specifics on all their ar­range­ments, the di­rec­tor who also serves as a Townsville City coun­cil­lor, re- vealed that the Fire would make the new RSL Sta­dium at the Mur­ray Sports Com­plex their new home free-ofcharge for the next three years. The Fire will be the ma­jor ten­ant of the arena for the next five years.

‘‘ Coun­cil will carry the costs for the first three years as part of their sup­port,’’ Roberts said.

‘‘ In years four and five we’ll then be look­ing at cost re­cov­ery.’’

The re­port into the vi­a­bil­ity of the Fire, com­piled by lo­cal busi­ness­man David Kip­pin, out­lines that Townsville Bas­ket­ball will con­tinue to hold the club’s li­cence. The out­fit will be run by a yet to be formed, sep­a­rate Fire WNBL com­mit­tee.

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