Netball Tasmania allayed fan fears less than 24 hours after its biggest date on next year’s calendar went missing.
Panicked Tasmanians first contacted the state’s Hobart headquarters on Tuesday afternoon when the planned Collingwood Magpies home game at the Silverdome had not been included in the 2018 Super Netball fixture.
Collingwood had signed up to a three-year deal until the end of 2018 to play an annual Super Netball home game in Launceston.
Netball Tasmania chief executive Aaron Pidgeon said the oversight was not an accident, but until all parties can negotiate a set date.
“There’s a couple of options on the table and really at the moment, it’s a more of a negotiation point between Collingwood and the league, not ourselves,” Pidgeon said.
“But it will definitely happen – the same as last year.
“It’s about identifying the best weekend out of Collingwood’s home games that they’ll be able to relocate one to Launceston. So at the moment, they just release all the games are in Melbourne and one of those games will be rescheduled.
“I wouldn’t like to speculate about that, but I don’t think it will be a long time before its announced – it will only be a couple of weeks.”
Netball Australia released the inaugural Super Netball fixture in November last year, but only announced the landmark Launceston game in February, less than three months prior to Collingwood and Queensland Firebirds clashing at the Silverdome.
Pidgeon said the decision – and the Magpies opponents in Launceston – would come down to brokering a broadcast deal. This year’s match was shown on Telstra TV.
“It’s really out of Netball Tasmania’s hands,” he said.
“Fundamentally, it’s a about their ability to broadcast from the Silverdome.
“The league needs to liaise with the broadcast partners.
“Collingwood have discussed a few options with the league and they’ll identify the best match to relocate.”
Pidgeon admitted “a bit of a panic” set in among Tasmanian netball fans hours after the fixtures were announced.
“I have had panicked calls from people that were a bit nervous,” he said, “so we’re hoping to get something out on our social media.”
Pick a Pies’ game?
- May 12 v Thunderbirds
- May 20 v Lightning
- June 2 v Firebirds
- June 24 v Vixens
- June 30 v Fever
- July 21 v Swifts
- July 29 v Giants