Sport

Wildcats aim high

SHAYNE HOPE

October 11, 2012

Perth Wildcats managing director Nick Marvin is not shying away from his ambitious bid to attract 10,000 members for the club’s prospective move to Perth Arena this season despite slower than expected sales.

In April 2011, Marvin set the target of signing 10,000 members by this month and in January said the club hoped to fill the 12,500-seat Perth Arena for every home game.

The Wildcats have a little more than 6000 members with six weeks left until their first scheduled home game on November 16.

They still do not have a contract to play at Perth Arena, but Marvin insists a deal is imminent.

OLYMPIC HURDLE

Marvin said the London Olympics had slowed membership sales in July and August, but interest had already picked up following the completion of the AFL season.

“We have already started to see things spike,” Marvin said.

“We were at the Royal Show (last week) and we’re starting to see momentum build.

“If we can pick up a little over 1000 members a month for the next three months, we should be okay.”

The Wildcats have never used a venue big enough to hold 10,000 fans as their permanent home base, let alone attracted that many season ticket holders.

But Marvin has seen memberships grow from 1600 when he first arrived at the club in 2006.

Memberships were capped at 3000 last season at Challenge Stadium, with hundreds of fans joining the waiting list in anticipation of the move to Perth Arena.

“We’re pushing the boundaries of what we’ve done historically, but we’re a club where we don’t accept anything but big, hairy, audacious goals,” Marvin said.

“We’re going to throw everything at it to get 10,000 members.”

SHOW OF SUPPORT

Inclement weather didn’t stop several hundred fans turning up to the Wildcats Members’ Day (pictured) at Aquinas College last week, with junior members taking part in a basketball clinic with the players.

Wildcats captain Shawn Redhage said members and supporters had a big role to play in the club’s success at Perth Arena this season.

“Our fans are the loudest in the league and they’re definitely like a sixth man out on the court,” Redhage said.

“But if our opponents thought it was loud and intimidating with 4000 Wildcats fans packed into Challenge Stadium, it’s going to be more intimidating at Perth Arena.

“The passion the Perth crowd has for basketball and the Wildcats is second to none and it really inspires all the players.”

Photos: Shayne Hope

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