Home Australia JackJumpers boss says basketball team has nowhere to store NBL championship trophy as delays delay construction of new training center

JackJumpers boss says basketball team has nowhere to store NBL championship trophy as delays delay construction of new training center

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Aerial photo of Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart.

Tasmania’s championship-winning basketball team says it is open to relocating its planned new high-performance facility, as a three-way tug-of-war over construction intensifies.

The Tasmanian government, which is footing the construction bill, Glenorchy City Council and JackJumpers basketball team owner Larry Kestelman, continue to argue over the promised construction of a $50 million indoor sports facility at Wilkinsons Point in Hobart’s northern suburbs.

The building conditions imposed by the council in the development application are the source of the frustrations, as the back-and-forth delays the start of construction, leaving JackJumpers without a base of operations.

The high-performance facility will be located adjacent to Hobart’s Derwent Entertainment Centre.(ABC News: Dan Yeomans)

The bureaucratic delay has led the team to consider a permanent relocation to Kingborough, where they currently train.

The team’s current agreement at the Kingborough Sports Centre, 18 kilometers south of Hobart, allows them to pay court rental fees and share use of the facilities with local pickleball and indoor soccer teams.

A woman with brown hair and a green jacket sitting in front of a trophy.

Christine Finnegan says the team wants to display its first NBL championship trophy at a local base.(ABC News: ABC News)

Downtown “absolutely frozen” in winter

JackJumpers chief executive Christine Finnegan told ABC the existing arrangements were not ideal.

“The facilities are not up to professional standards, and I don’t think we expect any of our other professional teams to train in facilities that, one, they don’t own; and two, that are not up to the standards of our competitors. “, he claimed.

“The facilities in the winter are absolutely freezing and I think for a team that competes with others in professional settings, that puts us on the defensive.”

“We’ve just won our first NBL trophy for the state of Tasmania and we currently don’t have a place to host it.”

Jack McVeigh training before game four of the final series

Jack McVeigh of JackJumpers trains at the Kingborough Sports Centre, Kingston.(ABC News: Jake Grant)

Anywhere better than nowhere

The development application for the new indoor sports facility was submitted to Glenorchy Council in June last year.

At the center of the dispute between the government and the council are the details of the car park construction, access road improvements and landscaping requirements.

The council’s amendments to the development application are believed to have added costs to the construction which the government has opposed.

“To be honest, having the facilities, wherever they are, is more important than not having them at the moment,” Ms Finnegan said.

“If it turns out to be Kingston, our players are already there, so if it was something the government was considering, it’s something we wouldn’t be opposed to.

“If there is a smoother process elsewhere, we support that and will certainly support that.”

Kestelman has recently hinted that he was willing to relocate the facility if the government and council could not reach a resolution.

“We would welcome any discussion regarding the location of the facility,” he said.

“We note that the team currently trains in Kingston and many of the players and staff already live in the area.”

A group of Tasmanian NBL players cheer, cry and hug each other on the pitch after winning the title.

JackJumpers recently defeated Melbourne United in game five of the NBL finals series.(AAP: James Ross)

Wilkinsons Point development affected

Kestelman has previously said delays to the high-performance facility would also hamper progress on the adjacent $150 million mixed-use development at Wilkinsons Point, which was part of the government’s deal to secure the JackJumpers NBL licence.

In October 2022, the Government committed $15 million towards the high-performance facility, in addition to an existing $35 million for a community indoor multi-sports facility at Wilkinsons Point in Glenorchy, next to the home JackJumpers stadium.

The construction had an estimated construction time of 18 months. The two projects will now become one.

Training facilities will include additional pitches, gymnasium, physiotherapy and recovery areas, medical and rehabilitation facilities and player locker rooms, kitchen and lounge, as well as meeting facilities.

Artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment of the Derwent Entertainment Center

An artist’s impression of the Derwent Entertainment Center redevelopment.(Supplied: LK Group)

The council has allocated $2.4 million for the access road upgrade, as part of its 2020 deal to sell the Derwent Entertainment Center to the state government.

In a statement, a government spokesperson said they will “continue to have conversations with the basketball community.”

The spokesman said the government was “absolutely committed to basketball in the northern suburbs” amid speculation it could push the project in favor of a new location in Kingborough.

It is understood that there are currently no plans in place to change the location of the facility.

LK Group artists' impression of the proposed Derwent Entertainment Center redevelopment

LK Group artists’ impression of the proposed Derwent Entertainment Center redevelopment.(Supplied: LK Group)

Concerns over player recruitment

JackJumpers coach Scott Roth said the delay has begun to impact player recruiting.

He emphasized to Mrs. Finnegan that it was something he wanted to address before returning from a trip to the United States.

“We won’t be bringing players into the market to show them our facilities at the moment, because we don’t have any,” Ms Finnegan said.

“Our conversation starts and ends with the program we’ve developed internally, but you can only rely on that for so long before the players say, well, what’s that going to look like when we get there?”

Scott Roth's reaction to the JackJumpers winning the 2024 NBL title

Scott Roth says the team is on a high after the championship win and a new facility would help keep the momentum going.(Supplied: JackJumpers )

Local basketball clubs have also expressed dismay that the sport outgrows existing facilities.

Glenorchy basketball association president Kate Clark told ABC Breakfast the community courts were desperately needed.

“Basketball in general doesn’t have a home. We have to share our courts. We had to move the games in Kingston because there was a science fair. We don’t have a home where we can prioritize the needs of the sport,” he said. saying.

It is understood a meeting between Basketball Tasmania chief executive Ben Smith and government representatives took place on Tuesday.


Aware , updated

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