Sport

Canberra Capitals insist Belconnen is up to the task to host Perth match

The Canberra Capitals insist Belconnen Basketball Stadium meets the criteria to host Saturday's Women's National Basketball League clash with Perth, and it could be their home base for the rest of the season. 

The Capitals have delayed their move to the National Convention Centre until next season and electrical damage at Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium has also put it out of action. 

New move: The Canberra Capitals will meet Perth at Belconnen Basketball Stadium on Saturday.
New move: The Canberra Capitals will meet Perth at Belconnen Basketball Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Belconnen's capacity is 500 at best and it is understood the last time the Capitals played there was in 2003 due to the Canberra bushfires. 

University of Canberra union boss Joe Roff said no extra seating would be put in place and he expects the facility to cater for demand given the team's winless run this season. 

Belconnen's courts were resurfaced during the Christmas break and LED lights installed, and the game will be the first at the upgraded facility. 

"To be honest, the January game and based on our average attendances so far, it hasn't been a successful season and the crowds are down," Roff said. "We don't anticipate we'll require further seating, but it would be great if we were at full capacity. 

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"We've been assured by the stadium the court will be in good condition for the weekend.

"To the best of my knowledge that [court resurfacing] was completed last weekend and the courts are currently closed, they should be fresh and ready to go."

Roff said it may not be the only game at Belconnen. It will depend largely on how quickly repairs are completed at Tuggeranong, which holds about 1200 spectators. 

The Capitals don't play at home again until January 31 against Adelaide Lightning. 

"We're looking at the remaining four [home] games at the moment and we will provide a plan for Belconnen and Tuggeranong," Roff said. 

The Capitals have played at AIS Arena the past few seasons, but the small crowds turning up don't make it an attractive option financially, or for game day atmosphere. 

"Despite not having the on-court success, there's been quite a good feel at Tuggeranong," Roff said. 

"It has a closer atmosphere and the players appreciate that, the crowd can get lost in the AIS Arena a little bit."

Capitals coach Carrie Graf hoped the move would enhance the home-court advantage against second-placed Perth. 

"Up until two seasons ago it was our training home, there's a real familiarity for a lot of our players with those rings, and on that court," Graf said. 

"I don't think we're going to fit everyone in, so there's going to be standing room I'm sure. 

"Hopefully it will have a sense of people being on top of us, a bit like Tuggeranong."

SATURDAY

WNBL: Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx at Belconnen Basketball Stadium, 7pm