Arena closure 'huge setback' for women's sport
The surprise shutdown of the AIS Arena in Canberra is a major setback for women's sport, says Australian basketball coach Carrie Graf.
Ms Graf, who is now the University of Canberra's Director of Sport, said she received an email on Monday about the cancellation of 2020 bookings, after the venue was closed in March, due to COVID-19.
"We've been blindsided by this decision, absolutely," Ms Graf said.
The 39-year-old arena saw the UC Capitals take out the last two Women's National Basketball League Championships.
The team now without a large-scale venue for the 2020-21 WNBL season.
"For a long time people have known the future of the AIS Arena was a little unknown and uncertain, but we certainly didn't anticipate that it would be closed now," Ms Graf said.
The arena is also part of a Super Netball deal, with the Giants expected to play a game there when the competition starts in August.
And Australian music stars Guy Sebastian and Delta Goodrem have had their tours dates cancelled there.
In a statement, the Australian Sporting Commission says it is not taking any new bookings and due to "required infrastructure works", the venue is unlikely to re-open this year.