Background on basketball in the precinct

Where it all started:

  • The first NBL game at The Glasshouse (now Holden Centre) took place on 4 April 1984. It was a double header: St Kilda defeated Nunawading and Geelong beat Coburg.
  • The Centre became synonymous with Victorian basketball: by 1987, four Victorian clubs called The Glasshouse home and by 1990-91 nearly 60 games were played there per season.
  • It increased in popularity throughout the nineties, so much so that games were often transferred across the road to the Rod Laver Arena.
  • After 343 games (an NBL record), the venue hosted its final match on 5 June 1998.

Over to Rod Laver Arena:

  • Previously known as Flinders Park, the first ever National Basketball League game played at Melbourne Park was on 3 April 1992 – Melbourne Tigers beat Canberra 112-194.
  • Basketball became increasingly popular around this time – the two Melbourne Park tenants (South East Melbourne Magic and Tigers) meant that the arena was packed each time. 15,366 fans once filled the arena in 1996!
  • At least one Melbourne team featured in every League Grand Final between 1991 and 2000.
  • In 1999, South East Melbourne Magic became the Victorian Titans.
  • After 287 games, Rod Laver Arena’s last ever match was in April 2000.

Making Melbourne Arena home:

  • Melbourne Arena hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games basketball.
  • The short lived NBL club South Dragons played home games at the venue from 2006-2009. They managed to come from last place to winning the Championship in their final season.
  • Basketball became home to the Melbourne Tigers for the 2012/13 NBL season, and from 2014 they became known as Melbourne United.
  • United claimed victory in the 18/19 NBL Championship at Melbourne Arena in a five-game series against the Adelaide 36ers.
  • Formed in 2018, South East Melbourne Phoenix become Melbourne Arena’s second home team for the 19-20 season – they’ll battle it out against Melbourne United four times over the course of the season.

Who are you going to be supporting?!