The frustration expressed by the UC Capitals over the lack of a facility in the ACT to play WNBL finals games has been echoed over the years by many sports organisations.
With the AIS Arena being utilised as a COVID vaccination hub and in urgent need of repair, and the National Convention Centre unavailable for the finals, which take place from 23 March to 9 April, what is available for the UC Caps?
Effectively, the nine-time champions, our very own Capitals, are without a home court to play finals games.
So do they relocate to Wollongong or Sydney for home finals? This is an embarrassing situation for Canberra’s sporting image. And it’s not as if we didn’t see this coming.
But the lack of an adequate facility for the UC Caps is just the tip of the iceberg.
Super Netball is also looking at expansion, with another four teams to be added in 2027. The Gold Coast, Tasmania, Newcastle and regional Victoria are among the leading contenders for a team in the expanded series.
Some years ago, there was talk of Canberra being in the mix. The idea was to have a Canberra-based team in the Super Netball, with big crowds to watch the national team and the occasional Super Netball game at the AIS Arena.
But there’s no mention of Canberra in the current speculation. We are well and truly off the radar.
The 2027 Rugby World Cup bid committee has already stated its concerns that Canberra Stadium isn’t fit for purpose. This is disappointing as Australia is set to host the Rugby World Cup in 2027 after being installed as the preferred candidate by the Rugby World Council.
But with new stadiums going up across the country, Canberra was always going to be on the back foot.
The ACT was never going to meet the cost of securing games for the 2023 Women’s Football World Cup, but the lack of a decent facility made it virtually impossible.
There are two live bids for a Canberra A League licence, and both will struggle to get past first base without a new stadium.
The Capitals have spoken about the threat to their growth without a facility that fully caters to their supporters. Clearly, that pain is also being felt by many other sports across the ACT.