Craig Hutchison will make his first appearance at a Perth Wildcats event since the club’s famous finals streak ended when he speaks at the club’s season launch on Wednesday night.
The Sports Entertainment Group CEO hasn’t formally addressed the Wildcats fraternity since the 35-year play-off streak ended in April.
He wasn’t at RAC Arena for the final game of the season when an overtime loss to South East Melbourne shattered Wildcats fans, and was ill when the club held its MVP awards in June.
Though Hutchison, pictured, has spoken in the media multiple times and accepted full responsibility for the team missing the finals during those interviews, his presence in Perth will be a significant moment given border closures prevented him from attending the season launch last year, a few months after SEG bought the club.
Hutchison will use the season launch to make a speech and be part of a Q&A on stage.
The club had a turbulent off-season with a change of coach and CEO, and several other staff also left.
The Wildcats’ season will begin on Sunday when they host the Brisbane Bullets at RAC Arena.
New coach John Rillie said the season launch was a valuable opportunity for the entire club to get together.
“Any time you can do that, especially with the change that’s gone on with the Perth Wildcats with ownership and CEO and all that type of stuff, the more times you can be face to face and creating our own culture so to speak. It’s never a bad time,” Rillie told The West Australian’s The Dribble Podcast.
“I was fortunate enough to be in-person during the interview process so I built a relationship with him (Hutchison) that way. At Summer League he was in Vegas to sit down with Danny Mills and myself. We’ve had several phone conversations. He’s been very accessible.”