Perth Redbacks’ newest signing, CEO Ryan Lenegan, has set himself one goal during his tenure, to find the club it’s first permanent home as soon as possible.
The NBL 1 club has 3000 participants in its programs yearly but operates from 22 separate facilities in South Perth, Victoria Park, Belmont, Perth, and Vincent.
It has nearly 250 teams, 40 WABL teams, and more than 200 tn the local and national leagues.
Despite the club’s size, it has no home ground and has not scored one in its 58-year existence.
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Lenegan said he had no professional experience in basketball or previously worked as a chief executive officer but had extensive experience in sports administration.
He said his main goal as chief executive was to ensure that the Perth Redbacks had its eight-field basketball facility as soon as possible.
“Our main goal as the Perth Redbacks is to find the home of the Redbacks so that all of our teams, all of our development, and all of our growth can all come from one central place,” said Mr. Lenegan.
“We’re getting more and more to the point where this is an ASAP for us.
“Financing would always be an issue, but we are bursting at the seams.”
The club’s administrative office is currently located in Victoria Park’s The Leisurelife Centre, which has always been the home of the Redbacks.
But Mr. Lenegan said that as the sport and club have grown in popularity, it has outgrown the three courts in that location.
A new facility would be a “significant investment” — earmarked to cost $30 million — so Anthony Nixon, president of the Perth Basketball Association, said the club had turned to the state and federal government for its “immediate need.” to give.
“We don’t pound the table as it is and don’t demand anything. We’re looking at a partnership with the stakeholders — the state and federal government — and say these are our needs: we’re a great sports group in the community; how do those who want to fund something like this make it happen. Where and how do we work together to achieve the right result,” he said.
“There are many options, and it’s about finding what the state and federal government think is the best option and working closely with them to ensure we get the best outcome.”
The hardest thing for Mr. Lenegan right now is that the club has no base and “no choice” but to turn kids off from basketball for lack of capacity.
“Basketball is an indoor sport, and we need a lot of courts to make it work,” he said.
“The hardest part is we want to make sure that if a kid in our catchment area wants to play basketball, they can, and right now, that’s impossible.”
Nixon said if the club had a roller coaster facility, it would go from outsourcing 22 separate facilities to just one plus overflow.
A central facility would allow the club to train and run its programs under one roof weekly and on weeknights.
The various locations north and south of the river the club is outsourcing would also become available to the community, including The Leisurelife Centre, Belmont Oasis, and Loftus Centre.
“With our kids under 10 to under 18, we have between 150 and 210 teams in three facilities for eight hours, so we run three facilities in sync simultaneously,” Nixon said.
“(Eight court facility) would allow us to spread that load and grow to 400 to 500 teams as demand.
“At our WOBL level, we train 30 teams a week, some of which are twice weekly.
“If you look at our court hours there, that’s 60 to 70 court hours a week, but if we centralized somewhere, those court hours would become available at all those other facilities for the wider community.”