‘ Last legs’ floor a fi­nal re­sort

Crocs make do on deck

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.