The WNBL will attempt to claim Wednesday night as their own marquee timeslot as part of a new fixture that hopes to seize upon the lack of midweek sport.
Every round will open with a Wednesday night fixture being broadcast on ESPN, including the grand final re-match between Perth Lynx and Melbourne Boomers at the Bendat Basketball Centre which will launch the season on November 2.
Head of the WNBL Christy Collier-Hill said it was important for the league to find their own sweet spot in the busy sporting market.
“That is absolutely the goal,” she said.
“We want something that belongs to us, so Wednesday night WNBL it is. There’s not a lot of other sport happening at that time so it is definitely the intent.
“This is a strategic play to build the TV audience and build the fan base beyond what we already have. We recognise there might be challenges in terms of game day attendance on Wednesday nights but, by building that fan base, we hope that in time it will provide opportunity to build that back up.”
Three of Perth’s 11 home games will be on Wednesday night. They also have two interstate games on Wednesdays which will start mid-afternoon in WA due to the time difference.
Having played only four home games last season due to border closures, the Lynx will play 11 matches at the Bendat Basketball Centre and 10 games interstate.
Their home fixture is front loaded with eight of their first 11 matches in Perth.
“It’s really important for the Perth fans who have had bugger-all games over the last two years to be able to be front and centre,” Collier-Hill said.
“The placement of the grand final re-match in Perth is what that’s all about. We want to get them in the door from day one and let the hard core fans see them play.”
Playing a raft of early home games will see the Lynx have a challenging finish and the prospect of remaining interstate at times for consecutive games.
They have games in Sydney, Bendigo and Melbourne from January 21-29, along with interstate double-headers in two of the last three rounds.
With COVID-19 severely impacting last season and forcing the cancellation or postponement of games, including finals, Collier-Hill promised this fixture would remain locked in
“We will have COVID policies with the objective of playing every game. There won’t be any reason why a team should not be able to put enough players on the floor,” she said.
PERTH LYNX 2022-23 WNBL FIXTURE
Wed Nov 2 v Melbourne Boomers at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Sun Nov 6 v Bendigo Spirit at 11am. Red Energy Arena
Sat Nov 12 v UC Capitals at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Wed Nov 16 v Sydney Flames at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Fri Dec 2 v Melbourne Boomers at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Thurs Dec 8 v Southside Flyers at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Sat Dec 17 v Townsville Fire at 5.30pm. Townsville Entertainment Centre
Wed Dec 21 v UC Capitals at 2.30pm. National Convention Centre
Fri Dec 30 v Adelaide Lightning at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Sat Jan 7 v Sydney Flames at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Fri Jan 13 v Southside Flyers at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Sat Jan 21 v Sydney Flames at 2.30pm. Quay Centre
Wed Jan 25 v Bendigo Spirit at 2.30pm. Red Energy Arena
Sun Jan 29 v Melbourne Boomers at 12.30pm. Melbourne Sports Stadium
Wed Feb 1 v Townsville Fire at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Sat Feb 4 v Townsville Fire at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Thurs Feb 16 v Adelaide Lightning at 4.30pm. Adelaide Arena
Sun Feb 19 v Southside Flyers at 12pm. State Basketball Centre
Sat Feb 25 v Bendigo Spirit at 6.30pm. Bendat Basketball Centre
Thurs Mar 2 v Adelaide Lightning at 4.30pm. Adelaide Arena
Sat Mar 4 v UC Capitals at 2.30pm. National Convention Centre
*All times WST