Melbourne Boomers WNBL Club Transfer WNBL License to Geelong Consortium

May 9, 2024 | Melbourne Boomers news

The owners of the Melbourne based WNBL club – the Deakin Melbourne Boomers has announced today they will transfer their WNBL license to a Geelong based consortium.

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers has been a powerhouse club in the Women’s National Basketball League for 40 years having won two Championships and supported the careers of many successful female basketballers and Australian Opals representatives.

Speaking on behalf of the current ownership group, who assumed control of the license in 2016 from the Bullen and Templestowe Basketball Association (after it faced closure), the Chair, Tony Hallam shared that this is a sad day for all involved with the Boomers especially its loyal and passionate fans and members.  Hallam noted that the Boomers have been funded by its private owners for 8 seasons to the tune of $1.5m and the owners are unfortunately not in a position to continue underwriting the significant investment required.

“We have pursued many options over the past 18 months to continue in our current form in the WNBL to secure new investors and other sources of funding, including from Basketball Australia, State and Local Government and private investors”, Hallam stated. “However unfortunately we have not been successful in securing future funding to support the ongoing operations of the Club.  As we pursue equality in elite women’s sport, there is quite rightly an increasing expectation by our wonderful athletes and coaches in terms of remuneration and working conditions (enjoyed by their male equivalents) – however these significant rising costs cannot continue to be absorbed just by the private owners, without the support of the current league owner, Basketball Australia.”

Hallam stated that “sadly this outcome reflects the very real financial challenges which professional women’s sport faces, and in particular the WNBL, where the current funding structure of the League requires that Club operations are fully funded by Club owners.

While we all hoped it would not come to this, the ‘Boomers family’ including our members, fans, sponsors, and partners who have packed our game days through the good and tough times should feel immensely proud of what we have collectively achieved, including:

  • 7 consecutive WNBL Finals appearances since 2017
  • 2 WNBL Grand Final appearances
  • WNBL Champions in 21-22
  • 9 players who have represented the Australian Opals
  • 67 players given opportunity to play professionally in the WNBL
  • Widely recognised as delivering the best game day experience in the WNBL
  • Creation of the Melbourne Boomers Academy
  • Deakin university pilot – ‘Deakin Live’ broadcasting of Boomers home games.
  • Creation of legacy community programs such as Mamma Ball and “WNBL in Gippsland”
  • Release of the ground-breaking documentary series “Sidelined-The Fight for Equality in Women’s Basketball”

Hallam continues “We would like to formally recognise and thank our naming rights sponsor Deakin University for enabling us to achieve so much over the last 10 years, and to our many other sponsors and partners who have enabled the Deakin Melbourne Boomers to make a significant contribution to professional women’s basketball.”

The Boomers will work closely with the new Geelong ownership group to transition the license leading into the 24-25 WNBL season, which will ensure there remains three WNBL clubs in Victoria.

In addition, the Deakin Melbourne Boomers legacy community programs such as Mamma Ball and the Melbourne Boomers Academy will continue.

Hallam emphasised that although it is a very sad outcome for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers after such a long and successful era, it is important that we continue to provide our female athletes with the opportunities to compete at the highest level in Australia. The transfer to Geelong will continue to provide a direct pathway for our up-and-coming Victorian athletes.


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