Giants Netball is set to open negotiations with the ACT government about extending their Super Netball deal beyond 2020, regardless of whether they can play in Canberra this year.
Super Netball has locked in August 1 for its post-COVID return, with details of the 60-match competition yet to be finalised.
The August start gives them a chance to avoid playing behind closed doors as lockdown restrictions are eased across the country.
The Giants were scheduled to play the final instalment of a three-year deal between Netball NSW and the ACT government this season, but those plans will likely fall through if crowds cannot attend.
If they can't play in Canberra when the league resumes, Giants general manager Tim Underwood says they'll look to roll the deal into next year.
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Now that Super Netball has a confirmed start date, the Giants will resume discussions with the ACT government in the coming weeks about the current agreement and beyond.
"The reality is we have an agreement with the ACT government and that includes playing a game at AIS Arena. So if that doesn't happen this year, we'll certainly need to have conversations around what that looks like in terms of a deal," Underwood said.
"I hope that means we're potentially down there again next year.
"We really enjoy coming to Canberra, there's no secret to that. The Giants' brand is strong, we've got a fantastic fan base and netball is not only strong in the ACT but also in the surrounding areas.
"It's a fantastic opportunity and we get to visit the districts, that's something the girls really enjoy."
Underwood is confident crowds will be able to attend at least the second half of the season, given the declining rate of COVID-19 infections and easing of restrictions.
It's unclear whether Netball Australia will include Canberra in the season's draw, but the August start has bought officials time to work out venues and travel arrangements.
The West Coast Fever, Queensland Firebirds, Sunshine Coast Lightning and Adelaide Thunderbirds are the most affected by current border closures, so it's unlikely the league will announce its fixture until those restrictions are eased.
The Giants reached out to their Canberra-based members via a Zoom call on Saturday, at the same time they were meant to host Queensland at the AIS Arena.
Fans had the opportunity to speak with coach Julie Fitzgerald and star midcourter Amy Parmenter, who previously played with the Canberra Giants in the Australian Netball League.
The ANL competition has been postponed until at least June 30 and Netball Australia are yet to announce its start date.
The Capital Darters and Canberra's NSW Premier League teams will return to training at Lyneham next week, following the ACT government's easing of restrictions to allow indoor sports to resume.
But the Darters, who's team is comprised of both Canberra and Sunshine Coast-based players, won't be able to train as a full squad until Queensland border restrictions are lifted.