NYE Party is back on for Taipans – The Cairns Post

THE National Basketball League has listened to the Far North and rightfully returned the Taipans marquee New Year’s Eve game to Cairns.
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THE NBL has listened to the Far North and rightfully returned the Taipans marquee New Year’s Eve fixture to Cairns for the 2017-18 season.
The Cairns Post can reveal the annual New Year’s Eve game will be handed back to the Taipans after it was stripped from the club last season for the first time in 13 years.
Just days after losing top player Travis Trice to rivals Brisbane, the Snakes will receive a huge financial boost from the return of the December 31 fixture, with the Taipans estimating they were about $50,000 out of pocket by not hosting the fixture last season.
The Snakes will host defending champions Perth Wildcats.
The decision to strip the Taipans of the New Year’s Eve game was met with frustration from the Far North public as hundreds called for the match to return this season.
The New Year’s Eve game has regularly been one of the highest-attended of the NBL season.
Taipans boss Mark Beecroft believes the Cairns Post and the public’s calls to bring the game back to Cairns played a role in its return.
“The importance of this game to the city was reflected in the coverage in the newspaper once we lost the game,” Beecroft said.
“We spent 13 years building the product, so to have it return, it is a huge boost of confidence for the club.
“We are thrilled with the work that has gone into it and the NBL has listened to our position and recognised that by returning it to us.
“There is the upside of the club financially and the city having people moving around for the fireworks, basketball and all the events.
“The return of the marquee game for the club and the city is great.”
The popular fixture is part of a New Year’s Eve double-header with another game played in New South Wales.
NBL CEO Jeremy Loeliger is keen to see the marquee game back at the Cairns Convention Centre.
“It’s great to have a game back in Cairns on New Year’s Eve,” Loeliger said.
“This is a very popular game with the fans and we expect to see a capacity crowd there on what should be a great lead in to 2018.”
The NBL will unveil its full schedule for the 2017-18 season tomorrow morning with the club to receive a much more favourable draw to start the season in comparison to last season.
The 2016 campaign started with seven of their first 10 games away from Cairns, with the draw for the upcoming season close to even for home and away games in the opening two months.
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