Wildcats hopeful on Arena agreement
Wildcats hopeful on Arena agreement

The Perth Wildcats have sold thousands of 2012-13 Perth Arena memberships despite not having a deal in place to play home games at the new $550 million venue.

The Wildcats expected to sign an agreement with Perth Arena management in March, but negotiations since then failed to find middle ground on a number of issues.

The season begins on October 5, with the Wildcats due to play their first home game against traditional rivals Adelaide on November 16.

As of yesterday, the Wildcats had sold 4095 season tickets, which were capped at 3000 last season at Challenge Stadium. The club has set the ambitious target of signing 10,000 members this year.

Managing director Nick Marvin was confident an agreement with Perth Arena would be reached later this month.

"I'm in the final stages of negotiations and expect to have a contract in the next week or two," Marvin said.

Alternative options are severely limited, with Challenge Stadium unavailable for many scheduled home games and the club reluctant to alter plans.

A failure to reach a deal with Perth Arena would be a nightmare for the NBL, which has adjusted its schedule once following the demise of Gold Coast Blaze.

The NBL declined to comment on the Wildcats' situation.

Adelaide home games also face an uncertain future after management rights to Adelaide Arena changed hands in the off-season.

Melbourne and New Zealand have expanded operations by moving matches to bigger venues.

·Wildcats co-captain Brad Robbins will miss the opening weeks of the season after being ordered to rest his injured right wrist for three months.

Robbins had surgery to repair tendon damage a fortnight ago and faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines, placing him in doubt for the season-opening match with New Zealand in Auckland.

The West Australian

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