The Breakers played their first home game of the season on Friday night. And while the team didn’t play the best, they managed to get a whopping 25 point win against the Sydney Kings after their record-breaking 37 point win against the same team just two weeks prior. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the venue. It’s about the Breakers at Vector Arena.
Unfortunately, because of exams, I’m in Hamilton at the moment. As I had an exam the day after the game, I couldn’t make it. But I have heard from people who were there that they were not impressed. They said that the atmosphere was nothing compared with the North Shore Events Centre. And, I’m going to be honest and say that made me smile.
You see, I’ve been against the Breakers moving to Vector since it was first suggested in 2009/10, when the Breakers first made it through to the playoffs. The North Shore Events Centre is the home of the Breakers. It’s where they belong. Sure, the Breakers can fit more people into Vector Arena, but it’s difficult to fit more fans. Basketball is a small sport in New Zealand. And I have no doubt it will probably stay that way. You don’t need a venue with a 7,000 capacity. Sure, you might almost sell out, like they did at Vector on Friday night, with only about 700 seats empty, but you won’t get an atmosphere. Because they aren’t Basketball fans. They have no intention of becoming Basketball fans. They are on the bandwagon.
Having said all of this, I do support having some games at Vector. I do think it would be great to have playoff games held at Vector, but that’s a bad idea if the team have no experience on the court. So play at Vector. Get some experience. What happened during the playoffs last year was terrible. People who were only there because the team was winning got seats, and people who had been supporting the team since they started in the NBL didn’t. Sure, they could have got season tickets and had priority booking, but I know one person who said they don’t want to do that, because Breakers games aren’t that expensive, and if they buy tickets for each game, the team gets more money from it.
And with games at Vector, I can watch the game, then after the game go support their naming rights sponsor, Skycity 😉
So, Breakers Management, please, stay at the NSEC. Sure, play a few games around the place. Even outside of Auckland – you are the New Zealand Breakers, not the Auckland Breakers. But in the end, make sure you play most of your games where you belong. In Glenfield. At the North Shore Events Centre.