The Nunawading Basketball Centre, arguably the most famous basketball venue in Australia during the 70’s and 80’s, was first mooted in the mid 1960’s. Located on the East Burwood Reserve, Burwood Highway, East Burwood, the Centre has become a byword at home and overseas for basketball and associated facilities.
The $8 million dollar centre (2008 Insurance Replacement Value) is unique in Australia because it has been built and paid for by basketball patrons money under the administration of the Nunawading Amateur Basketball Association (NABA).
The NABA is a non-profit community advancement company and has administered and paid for the building of the basketball centre from 1969 to the present and all the profits made are put back into the centre and basketball.
Since 1970, the centre has provided the community with a major sporting asset which ratepayers haven’t had to fund. It is the home of the Melbourne East Basketball Association Inc (MEBA) which runs competitions for 800 teams (7000 players) per week, playing each day for 48 weeks of the year. The MEBA runs Representative Teams for both Juniors and Seniors under the name of the Nunawading Spectres.
In 1963 the Melbourne East Boys Basketball Association was founded and by the mid 60’s had grown to 91 teams of junior boys and open age men. In 1966, with pressure for more courts for the rapidly expanding competitions, the Association formed a Stadium Building Sub-Committee which presented a submission to the Box Hill Council for a central stadium in the eastern suburbs.
It appeared certain that a four court stadium would be built and paid for by the Council at Surrey Drive in Box Hill South, but when negotiations were in an advanced stage, the Albert Park Basketball Stadium directors made a counter application to the Box Hill Council stating that the long standing policy of the Victorian Basketball Association to control and build stadiums around Melbourne should be maintained. Confused by the conflicting correspondence from the two basketball sources, the Council abandoned the venture.
On a Sunday morning in 1968, Reg Stacker invited the Mayor of Nunawading, Councillor Keith Rooney together with members of the Association’s Building Sub-Committee to discuss stadium development over a cup of tea in Reg’s kitchen. Following that meeting, Mr Rooney said he would try and get the Nunawading Council to provide a site under lease and a cash grant of $6000 for the proposed stadium.
The Sub-Committee formed a Co-operative to raise $100,000 to build the original two court centre. The Nunawading Basketball Centre was officially opened on 24 July 1970 by the Victorian Premier Dick Hamer.
|1971 – 1982||These years of operating the Stadium were challenging because the initial building cost $20,000 more than the funds available at it’s construction. All staffing positions such as door, cleaning, canteen, sports store and administration were handled by rostered volunteers. With only 2 courts and repaying loans, it was difficult to save any money for extensions|
|1974 – 1976||Fund Raising projects such as Art Shows and the World Snooker Championships were run at the Centre.|
|1977||Additional loan taken out to overlay new flooring boards on all courts.|
|1983||Courts 3 & 4 were added to the Centre together with upgrading of the Car Park. The cost was $400,000 and the Nunawading Council assisted by providing half of the costs ($200,000) in an interest free loan to the NABA.|
|1985||Dennis O’Brien was appointed full time manager of the Centre.|
|1987||Flooring and sub-flooring of court 1 was removed and replaced together with new drainage around the Centre at a cost of $103,000.|
|1989||Court 5 was added to the Centre together with some additional upgrades to the existing services at a cost of $323,000 of which the Nunawading Council provided an interest free loan of $140000 towards the costs.|
|1992 – 1995||$245,000 was spent in upgrades and new equipment within the centre.|
|1997||A major upgrade of $1.5 million dollars was carried out that included new conference rooms, change rooms, lounges, offices, canteen and etc.|
|2002||The Nunawading Basketball Centre signage was erected on the front of the Centre|
|The Public Liability crisis occurred when the Centre’s insurer for the past 30 years, AMP, withdrew from providing public liability cover and a search over three months failed to find a provider. However, the Centre was saved one day before having to shut down when an insurer offered to provide cover.|
|2004||Roofing over courts 1 & 2 was replaced and new evaporative cooling was added to the courts at a cost of $180,000.|
|2005||A full cutback on the surface of all courts costing $100,000 was done.|
|2006||The Centre was re-plumbed and rewired – $8,000.|
|2007||New scoreboard and timer – $40,000.|
|2008||New rings, backboards and supports on courts 1 & 2 – $50,000.|
|The NABA has spent over $6 million dollars for the building, maintenance and provision of new fixtures and equipment from 1969 to the present day and in September 2008, the 10 millionth person passed through the centre.|
|2009||Court 5 Backboards – $25,000|
|2010||Court 1 Scoreboard – $10,000|
|2011||Hall of Fame Event – $40,000|
|2012||Surveillance Cameras – $10,000|
|Lighting – $78,000|
|Online Scoring – $10,000|
|Court 1 Sound System – $24,000
|Website – $8,000|
|2013||Mullauna Floors – $35,000|
|Courts 3, 4 Backboards – $54,000
|POS System – $15,000|
|The Gun 8000 – $9,000|
|Ticket Box Reno – $10,000|
|Underpinning – $28,000|
|Canteen Sub-Floor – $6,000|
|Satellite Venue Scoring – $10,000|
|2014||Court 1 Lights – $11,000|
|Court 1 Logo & Lime – $15,000|
|Conference Carpet – $20,000|
|Canteen Reno – $20,000|
|Changeroom Repair -$21,000|
|2015||Court 5 Insulation – $60,000|
|Court 5 Gutters/Cladding – $24,000|
|Retaining Wall – $10,000|
|Court 5 Scoreboard – $5,000|
|Hall of Fame|
|2016||Court 3/4 Insulation/Cladding|
|2017||Kitchen Upgrade/Cafe Furniture|
|Court 2 Insulation/Cladding|
|2018||Conference Room Partition/Technology|
|Court 1 Backboard Lights|
|2019||Court 3 & 4 Score Benches|
|Court 2 & 5 Shot Clocks|
|Court 1 LED Screen|