‘ Last legs’ floor a final resort
Crocs make do on deck
A NEW floor and backboards at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre are unlikely to be available for the start of the National Basketball season in October.
The Townsville Crocodiles are now working on a plan to play on the existing floor, which is more than 20 years old and has been deemed beyond its useful and economic life.
In February this year, councillors voted to direct Townsville City Council to purchase the floor and backboards.
The council had previously planned to seek State Government funding to upgrade the floor in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but the Crocodiles requested that the council fast- track the purchase. At the time, the Crocodiles were negotiating with the NBL to stay in the league after suffering a number of financial setbacks.
Crocodiles chairman Andrew Gisinger said the club had a fallback option to use the old floor for the beginning of the season.
“We’ve asked the NBL to put the first home game in the third round, so we have a twoweek buffer,” Mr Gisinger said.
“The new floor was a must for us to go back to the entertainment centre. The old floor is on its last legs.
“You really wouldn’t want it for a whole season – it’s suitable for a couple of games.”
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the council would still be seeking State Government funding. She said it was possible the Crocodiles would have to play on the existing floor for the whole season.
“The Crocodiles believe they can still play on it. We’ve got some work to do on the stadium but I think it’s great if they can use the existing floor for more of the season, allow the Crocodiles to get back in there as soon as possible,” she said.
“We know the floor would probably do for most of this season. It does need to be replaced at some point as it’s well over 20 years old.
“The purchase of the new floor would allow the opportunity for the flooring to be installed and removed for events a lot quicker.”
A council spokeswoman said it was awaiting the arrival of timber for the floor from the US. The spokeswoman said the floor must meet FIBA Level 1 competition standards and was only manufactured overseas.
“The floor will also be compliant with specified standards for the upcoming Commonwealth Games,” she said.