Paul Goriss still remembers those fleeting seconds he spent walking through the bowels of the AIS Arena.
"Walking through the tunnel and hearing the crowd, I got goosebumps," the Canberra Capitals coach said as his mind wandered back to a WNBL grand final win played out in front of 4817 people.
But a Capitals finals game in 2022? You pretty much find yourself in a dimly-lit tin shed. Five rows of worn-down bleachers on one side, a wooden grandstand on the other.
This is the ageing Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium, where the Canberra's most successful elite sporting team will host a WNBL semi-final showdown with the Perth Lynx on Sunday.
This is no blight on the Southern Cross Club-owned venue. Without it, the Capitals would likely have been forced to take this game to Wollongong. Nothing quite like the buzz of a home final in a city nowhere near home.
Instead this is a damning indictment of the ACT government and their federal counterparts, who have failed to act on an indoor venue crisis in what territory officials like to claim is the "women's sporting capital of Australia".
Shifting a game to Tuggeranong might have been fine 20 years ago, or even five years ago when the Capitals were still calling it home. But this is no stage for a women's national league finals contest in 2022.
The Capitals will invest in up to $20,000 worth of upgrades for the venue. That includes new lights, scaffolding and staging for broadcast cameras, and sticker decals to cover up the logos of a company sold off more than a decade ago.
The club's National Convention Centre home in the heart of the city is booked out. Across town the AIS Arena is supposedly safe enough to be used as a COVID-19 vaccination hub, but not to be opened for sporting events.
A Senate election battle has revived the stadium debate in Canberra. One side is pushing to turn Viking Park into a 10,000-seat venue in Wanniassa.
The other is calling for action on a 25,000-seat stadium in the heart of the city coupled with a convention centre that can reignite the city's entertainment sector and solve an indoor venue farce.
An indoor venue solution must come first. The Capitals will take a significant financial hit during the finals. The 1300-capacity venue in Tuggeranong pales in comparison to 5000 at the AIS and even the 1600 at the convention centre.
Well, thanks to what Capitals general manager Lucille Bailie rightly declares is "inaction at every level", there's plenty who won't see Canberra's most successful team this weekend.
Because they've been made to "survive on the crumbs of infrastructure" in Canberra.
Game one: Thursday, March 24 - Perth Lynx v Canberra Capitals at Bendat Basketball Centre, 9.30pm.
Game two: Sunday, March 27 - Canberra Capitals v Perth Lynx at Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium, 5pm.
Game three (if required): Wednesday, March 30 - Perth Lynx v Canberra Capitals at Bendat Basketball Centre, 9.30pm.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: