The Canberra Capitals could be forced to search for interstate basketball venues to host WNBL matches when their schedule clashes with events at the National Convention Centre.
The AIS Arena is closed indefinitely, Sport Australia cancelling existing bookings for the remainder of the year and refusing to take any bookings for 2021 or beyond.
The decision to shut Canberra's largest indoor multi-purpose venue has led to a scramble for sporting teams who had hoped to play at the Arena when coronavirus restrictions ease.
Users were informed via email about the closure, catching the Capitals and Giants Netball off guard after both had planned to use the AIS Arena at some stage this season.
The Giants were had requested available dates to use the venue for the Super Netball season, but were forced to send a message to ACT members saying they were "extremely" disappointed to have to scrap plans for a Canberra game.
The NBL was also hoping the ACT government would contribute to the Illawarra Hawks playing matches in the capital when their season begins in December.
But back to back defending champion Capitals are in the toughest position, in danger of being without a venue in Canberra at different stages of the WNBL season.
The Capitals have been sharing games between the bigger AIS Arena and the 1800-capacity National Convention Centre for the past three years. They move regular-season games to the AIS Arena when the convention centre is booked for exhibitions or events.
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They have also played all finals matches - including two grand final series - at the AIS and attracted sell out crowds of more than 4000 to the major matches.
But WNBL schedule clashes at the convention centre and the unavailability of the Arena is set to force Capitals officials to seek a new home.
One option would be returning to Tuggeranong, but it would be a step backwards for women's sport in Canberra. Interstate venues, potentially in Albury, Newcastle or Wollongong, could emerge as more attractive options.
The Capitals have hosted every home grand final at the AIS Arena, and the Canberra Cannons carved out their success at what is affectionately known as "The Palace".
The Capitals and the Giants were told on Monday they would have to find new homes until the Arena is reopened, but Sport Australia officials did not indicate when or if the venue would be reopened.
The Giants cannot play at the convention centre because of the court dimensions required for netball. They had been in discussions about playing in Canberra this season - the final game of a three-year deal. Previous matches have attracted sell-out crowds and Giants Netball general manager Tim Underwood hoped the venue would reopen to ensure they could remain a connection with the region.
"We've got an undefeated record in Canberra, we wanted to come back and keep that intact," Underwood said. "We've got a passionate following in the ACT and surrounding areas ... they travel for these games.
"We're extremely disappointed we won't be able to put on a show for them."
The Hawks had hoped to continue a relationship with Basketball ACT and the ACT government, but that now appears unlikely to go ahead next season given they won't have access to an appropriately-sized venue.
The Hawks could still play pre-season games in Canberra at Tuggeranong or the convention centre, but they would need more than 3000 seats to make a regular-season game viable.
The government says it will work with all sporting codes to find alternative arrangements.
"It is disappointing but inevitable to see this occurring after the Commonwealth government has let this important facility become run down," ACT Sport Minister Yvette Berry said.
"It's rare that I haven't taken the opportunity when meeting with the federal Minister for Sport to raise the state of the AIS Arena and the federal government's plans for its future. Following this decision I will again be asking the federal Minister for Sport for certainty that this facility will continue to be available to the Canberra community.
"This decision has come unexpectedly and so the ACT Government will now need to work with users of the facility, including the Canberra Capitals and Giants, on alternatives."