The WNBL breaks attendance record at John Cain Arena
The Cygnett WNBL’s first game at John Cain Arena this evening has broken the league’s all-time crowd record, with 7,681 fans in attendance to see Lauren Jackson and the Jayco Southside Flyers take on the Sydney Flames.
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The record-breaking figure topped the league’s previous attendance record from 1995, when 7,500 fans packed into Adelaide 36ers Arena for the Grand Final matchup between Adelaide Lightning and the Melbourne Tigers.
The Flyers leveraged the home game on the big stage to recognise Jackson’s outstanding playing career to date. The celebrations helped draw in the impressive crowd numbers and notable Australians, including former NRL star Billy Slater, AFL legend Mick Malthouse and pop artist Dannii Minogue.
After receiving a loud welcome to the court, Jackson’s game time was unfortunately cut short after going down with a leg injury that ruled her out of the game. The heartbreak continued for the Melbourne hosts as the Flames took the ladder leaders down to the wire to secure a one-point win.
It was young guns, Tiana Mangakahia of the Flames and Maddi Rocci of the Flyers who showed us what they were made of and battled it out on the big stage, with Mangakahia sinking the game winning free throw in the dying seconds of the game.
The WNBL entertainment will continue into the evening as the Townsville Fire (3rd) and the Perth Lynx (5th) will fight to keep the Final hopes alive at Bendat Basketball Stadium, tipping off at 6:30pm AWST.