After securing a chance to win their first title since 2013, the Adelaide Thunderbirds will have the home-court advantage with next year’s Super Netball Grand Final to be held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
In addition, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre will also play host to Adelaide Thunderbirds home games next season, the South Australian government and Netball Australia confirmed.
The announcement comes as Netball SA, the governing body behind the Thunderbirds, looks to work with South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas and his government to develop a plan to rejuvenate Netball SA Stadium.
Announced actions to hold the Super Netball Grand Final and all Adelaide Thunderbirds home games at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in 2024, come after a successful 2023 both on and off the court for the Thunderbirds, which saw record membership numbers and a sell-out season.
Netball SA CEO Bronwyn Klei believes the latest announcements are important not only for the Thunderbirds but for the entire Netball landscape across South Australia.
“South Australia is a huge netball state and I have no doubt our community will welcome the Grand Final here in Adelaide in 2024,” Klei stated.
“Netball is the number one sport for women and girls and Netball SA Stadium is the home of netball for our state, with hundreds of thousands coming through the doors each year.
“Securing the Adelaide Entertainment Centre as the host of Thunderbirds home games in 2024 is significant for our club.”
Klei believes a move to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre will help the continued growth of the Thunderbirds.
“With record membership numbers and a sell-out season in 2023, a move to AEC will allow our Pink Army to continue to grow while we work with the state government to turn Netball SA Stadium into the facility our community deserves,” she said.
Adelaide captain Hannah Petty feels the latest developments have brought about a sense of excitement for South Australian netball.
“The atmosphere our Pink Army is able to create at a venue like the Adelaide Entertainment Centre is second-to-none and we love playing there,” Petty said.
“Hopefully we’re defending our title in a home Grand Final in 2024.
“As a South Australian netballer, I’ve spent a significant portion of my time at Netball SA Stadium and I’m excited to see it become a top-class facility for netballers at all levels.”
Premier Peter Malinauskas shares Ryan and Petty’s excitement over the latest deal, which he believes will provide opportunities for growth within the sport at the top level, as well as for those who use Netball SA Stadium.
“It will provide an opportunity to grow crowds at the elite level of the game – but more importantly, it will provide us the freedom to take proper action to upgrade Mile End netball stadium, for the tens of thousands of netballers who use it each year,” Premier Malinauskas stated.
“Our state is developing a reputation for securing outstanding major events, and I’m thrilled to announce the 2024 Super Netball Grand Final will be right here in Adelaide.
“Hopefully the 2024 Grand Final will see our Thunderbirds mounting a defence of a 2023 premiership title.
“But either way, I know the city will be buzzing with excitement, and rolling out the red carpet to more interstate visitors who know we will put on a great show.”