The Perth Wildcats’ historic first home game at Perth Arena this Friday has been declared a sell-out.
A record number of Wildcats fans will pack the new $550 million venue and will be expected to create an intimidating atmosphere for the visiting Adelaide 36ers.
The record attendance figure for a Wildcats home game was 8501 when the WA team hosted the Melbourne Tigers at Burswood Dome in 2004.
But the record should be smashed on Friday, with the Arena holding about 12,500 fans in basketball mode.
The last time more than 12,000 attended an NBL game was in 2004 when now-defunct West Sydney hosted the Sydney Kings at the Sydney Superdome.
The Wildcats have attracted a record number of members this season with more than 7000 pledging their commitment to the club and membership manager Nick Ristovic couldn’t be happier with the result.
“It’s very exciting to see the people of Perth get behind the team and be a part of this historic moment in the club’s 30th anniversary year,” Mr Ristovic said.
“It’s a sign of things to come and we encourage fans to sign up for membership to guarantee their seat at every Wildcats home game.”
The third-placed Wildcats (3-2) will be looking to bounce back from last week’s road loss to Adelaide (4-3) and have a full squad to pick from for their first home game of the 2012-13 season.
Coach Rob Beveridge has worked all over the world and been to the best NBA venues, but said the Wildcats’ new home matched it with the best of them.
“Perth Arena is the best stadium I’ve ever seen,” Beveridge said.
“It’s unbelievable and there’s a wow factor there for the players. When you go in there’s just an atmosphere about it.
“It is state-of-the-art in terms of seating and the way it’s put together. We are so lucky and privileged that we’re going to be playing there.”
Australian pop star Stan Walker will perform as part of the pre-game entertainment from 5.30pm on Friday, with tip-off scheduled for 6.40pm.