Local support and sponsorship secured club from extinction
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.