The Sky Sport NZ Breakers coming to Christchurch on the 20th December with the support of Go Orange, Go Media and the Commdore Airport Hotel will mark the first time the NBL team has played a regular season game in the city since back in 2004. However, there is a lot more behind bringing the Breakers back to town, than just for some high-quality basketball entertainment.
Basketball in Canterbury and over New Zealand has seen substantial growth and popularity in all levels of the sport. It is the second most participated sport in secondary schools and soon projected to be the first, while there has been a 44.9% increase in basketball players over the last decade. Specifically, in Christchurch there are over 5000 school/club players which comes in at the highest played sport in Christchurch.
Much of this can be attributed to Steven Adams and his pathway to NBA stardom but the growth and popularity, especially in Canterbury is also thanks to the growing professional leagues we have in New Zealand (Sals NBL & WBC), the increased number of South Island athletes gaining US College scholarships and the high level basketball games outside of the Sals NBL and WBC coming to our city to be played i.e. Tall Blacks, US College games and Breakers.
Since Andrew and Nicky Harrison started the Canterbury Rams back up in 2014, one of the many goals which make up the vision for the organisation was to bring more professional basketball entertainment to Christchurch. We want our basketball community and especially the younger kids to be able to be inspired and motivated by their favourite players and role models. For a long time, Christchurch didn’t see many professional teams come and play here beyond the Rams. So, we are excited to be able to bring more teams like the Tall Blacks and the Breakers to our city and to our community and we hope that it inspires and fosters growth and increased popularity in the sport.
Back in 2018, the Rams returned to Horncastle Arena for the first time since the John Watson era which drew an NBL record crowd of 6000 people. The success of this game was largely in part to the generosity of the Christchurch Casino for hosting and sponsoring a special dinner which helped underwrite the game. Then later on that year we hosted the Tall Blacks vs Jordan World Cup qualifying game in partnerships with BBNZ and the CBA, which attracted over 5,500 Cantabrian fans! A big thanks to Go Orange for being the principal commercial supporter behind bringing that game to you! US College basketball has also been a feature in Christchurch, when we had The University of Washington game back in 2016, in which NBA draft lottery pick Markelle Fultz was playing. Then more recently, the St Mary’s College Gaels vs Mainland Eagles Invitational game which Christchurch Boys High School old boy Quinn Clinton was a part of. These games providing younger kids the opportunity to see where hard work, dedication and commitment on and off the court can get them!
While having teams come to play big games in Christchurch is exciting and a great opportunity to enjoy and experience the finest basketball talent there is from Oceania and around the world play, we believe that it has a lasting impact on the younger generation. That it promotes a healthy lifestyle and pathways for kids to reach their goals not just in basketball but in all aspects of their life.
We plan on continuing to bring more games like the Breakers to our city although it can only be done if these games go successfully and if Cantabrians get in behind the games and take the opportunity which hasn’t always been here before. Another part of celebrating basketball in this city is having the Canterbury Basketball High School All Star games as curtain raisers to the Breakers. The best high school boy and girl basketballers from around the city will play against each other in what is sure to be a stellar showcase of the high school talent here in Canterbury. The Meadow Fresh Court of Dreams competition also allows us to have two local primary school teams, Somerfield School and Halswell School hit the court right before the Breakers tip off!
A big thank you to the Commodore Airport Hotel for sponsoring an exclusive Breakers breakfast event for Rams partners and season members on Saturday 21st December. The generosity of the Commodore Airport Hotel will help us in bringing more professional games to Christchurch!
We aren’t far away from having the Breakers return and tickets are selling fast! Blue seats are sold out, and there are very limited bronze, diamond, platinum and Hollywood seats available. Don’t miss out on the big show!
Secure your seats now at Ticketek! All combo pass purchases get you 10% off at checkout and access to the Breakers exclusive event on the 19th December (gold and above).
VIP/Business corporate options are available, including courtside corporate tables,sky boxes. Contact Caleb Harrison on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 029 51288 to find out more and make a booking!