The Perth Wildcats debuted at Perth Arena on Friday night in front of more than 11,000 fans, the biggest home crowd in the club's 30 year history.11,562 fans turned out to see the ‘Cats play, smashing the team’s previous biggest home crowd, when 8,501 witnessed them take on the Melbourne Tigers at Burswood Dome in 2004.Friday’s crowd also set a record for the most people to attend a basketball game in Western Australia.The game against the Adelaide 36ers was the club’s first home game for 2012/13, and it’s first at the brand new Perth Arena.The deafening crowd turned Perth Arena’s stands into a sea of red, creating an exciting and intimidating atmosphere.Wildcats big man Matt Knight said it was a lot of fun playing in front of so many fans.“We definitely have the best fans in the country,” he said.“Playing in front of 11,000 is only going to make us play better, obviously we let the first game slip, but we’re lucky to get New Zealand here on Thursday so we’ll work hard at training and put on a better performance (this) week.
Guard Damian Martin agrees.“It’s unbelievable, exceptionally disappointing to lose in front of 11,000 people because they generate such a special game, the tempo, everything is produced coming off the back of how exciting it is to play in front of 11,000 people in such a beautiful arena, so we just hope to get some wins going and keep such a great atmosphere,” he said.The fans did all they could to help get the ‘Cats over the line, but unfortunately they fell short by four points.
Despite the loss, the crowd and atmosphere of the game made the night one to remember.
Tickets are still available for the Wildcats second game at Perth Arena on Thursday against rivals the New Zealand Breakers.
With more than 7,000 members, the atmosphere at every home game is sure to be electric.
UKrX1IURoQ8 - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">HERE for tickets to Thursday’s game.