Scuff marks and logos of a company sold off more than 10 years ago line the Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium floor.
Now the Canberra Capitals are preparing to invest in up to $20,000 worth of upgrades to "make this venue sing" for their biggest game of the WNBL season.
The Capitals will return to Tuggeranong for the first time in more than five years when they host the Perth Lynx in game two of their semi-final series on Sunday.
But the Southern Cross Club-owned and operated venue is in need of a major facelift to meet the minimum broadcast requirements to host a WNBL fixture after answering an SOS from the Capitals, who find themselves caught in the middle of an indoor venue crisis.
Existing lights will be replaced and more lights will be added. An adjustable scaffold will be wheeled in behind the grandstand and temporary stages built to capture the action for the broadcaster's five cameras. Fans will huddle together on wooden bleachers.
Capitals general manager Lucille Bailie says club staff have been working "day and night" with venue operators to bring the ageing stadium to life after the most successful club in WNBL history - and Canberra's most successful elite sporting team - was left homeless.
The Capitals have been locked out of the AIS Arena for two years, ruining their hopes of of hosting blockbuster finals in front of 5000 fans again. Their regular home at the National Convention Centre is booked out for the duration of the finals.
Now the club has been forced to go back to Tuggeranong, which boasts a capacity of just 1300 in what looms as a major financial blow for the WNBL club.
Bailie says that is exactly why the AIS Arena cannot be left behind as a sporting infrastructure debate rages in a tight tussle for one of the two ACT Senate seats.
"It's a significant upgrade. We're confident the ACT government will assist us financially. This is what happens when you don't have that permanent purpose-built facility. The short-term investment requires that intense stakeholder buy-in and collaboration," Bailie said.
"The point is it no longer meets WNBL broadcasting requirements. There's a range of upgrades that will bring the venue up to the vastly-improved WNBL broadcasting requirements. They include lighting, staging, additional power, internet, seating and ticketing. We're going to fill this joint to the rafters.
"The certainties in life, what are they? Death, taxes, and the Caps are going to keep being a successful sporting franchise. But we do hope we don't have to revisit the venue."
The University of Canberra is planning a possible 10,000-seat indoor venue to fill a gaping void and reignite the ACT's sports and entertainment sector.
A "UC Arena" with a capacity between 7000 and 10,000 forms part of the university's sport strategy but the proposed arena hinges on a funding injection.
"Our need is clear. We need that purpose-built playing and training venue. There's little more we can do. The case for a suitable indoor venue is as clear as it can be," Bailie said.
"It's now over to the ACT and federal government. We'd like them to work with UC, we think the UC plan is a great one. As an organisation, to have our own venue on campus at UC, that would put forward a pretty good solution. We've shone a light on the issue and issued a solution. We don't want to revisit this scenario ever again."
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