The Owner and Executive Chairman of the Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League Larry Kestelman has unveiled his bold vision for a new community sports and entertainment precinct at Wilkinsons Point in Hobart.
The vision is part of Kestelman’s plan to purchase the Derwent Entertainment Centre (DEC) and become the home of the NBL’s 10th team as the league expands its footprint across Australia.
It was unveiled as the league prepares to stage its preseason competition, the NBL Blitz, featuring all nine NBL clubs across Tasmania from September 19-22.
The vision for the DEC and Wilkinsons Point includes:
- A 5000 seat multi-purpose indoor stadium hosting basketball and other events as part of a major upgrade of the DEC
- An elite high performance facility including basketball courts, gymnasium and offices
- A multi- purpose indoor sports facility for a range of sports
- A hotel precinct with function centre
- A retail precinct including a range of food and beverage options such as a sports bar and brewery
- Family entertainment with proposed concepts such as indoor skydiving, rock climbing, bowling and skiing
- GASP enhancement
- Increased car parking
- Improved public transport links
Kestelman is currently negotiating with Glenorchy City Council to purchase the DEC as part of the NBL’s plan to bring a team to Tasmania and make basketball the number one sport in the state.
“This is a reimagining of Wilkinsons Point that will breathe new life into the precinct and have significant economic benefits for Tasmania and promote jobs and tourism,” he said.
“It will host major events including Tasmanian’s NBL team and become a central hub for community recreation and entertainment in Hobart. We want to build something everyone can come and use and enjoy.
The NBL enjoyed record attendances and broadcast audiences last season and is now considered the second best basketball league in the world outside of the NBA.
“Tasmania is a great sporting state and deserves to have teams in national sporting leagues such as the NBL. We want to build a team Tasmanians can call their own and a legacy for generations to come.
“Basketball is played all over the world and an NBL team in Tasmania will have a global presence. The NBL is now broadcast around the world including the US, Europe and Asia and we regularly send NBL teams to play in the NBA pre-season.
“With future NBA stars LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton joining the league this season and the return of superstars such as Andrew Bogut, there has been never been a more exciting time for the NBL and we hope Tasmania will embrace this opportunity starting with the Blitz next week.”
The NBL Blitz will be held across Tasmania including games at Ulverstone, Devonport, Kingston, Launceston and Hobart from September 19-22.