Geelong will host an official Big Bash double-header match for the first time this summer when the Melbourne Renegades host the Sydney Sixers for KFC BBL and Rebel WBBL points at Kardinia Park Stadium on 3 January 2018.
The showpiece clashes, delivered in partnership with the Victorian Government, the City of Greater Geelong and the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust are part of the club and league’s expansion plan to bring more cricket to more Victorians.
The Renegades will also hold a pre-season camp in Geelong in December which will include a range of fun community activities and events.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, the Hon John Eren MP said the match was part of the government’s strategy to deliver major events to Geelong and the wider region.
“We’re turning Kardinia Park into the best regional stadium in Australia so we can host blockbusters like this.”
“Bringing Big Bash to Geelong will inspire our kids, attract visitors and create an incredible buzz around town,” Minister Eren said.
New Renegades signings Tim Ludeman and Sophie Molineux were on hand to share the news.
“It’s a great opportunity for the club to go to a new region and give the fans a taste of the BBL and WBBL action live in their backyard. I’m really pleased to have joined the Renegades and can’t wait the season to start. Living in Geelong and playing for Geelong Cricket Club means I’ll be drumming up plenty of local support for the matches” Ludeman said.
Molineux, considered one of the country’s brightest talents, has signed a new multi-year contract with the club.
“I’ve had two great seasons with the Renegades so far and very much feel part of the setup. The club has worked hard to build a great culture around the WBBL squad and I’m looking forward to meeting some new team mates who I know the club will be confirming soon,” Molineux said.
“Today’s announcement is great news. The ongoing growth of the WBBL is giving us opportunities to play in front of new audiences at great venues. We’ll put on a show here in January,” Molineux said.
Melbourne Renegades Chief Executive Stuart Coventry said the club is calling on fans from across the region to come out in big numbers to support the Renegades.
“This is a milestone day for the club. We’re excited to be able to bring these matches to Geelong and bring our brand of action and entertainment to the fans here,” Coventry said.
“The recent investment in the stadium speaks volumes about the future of sport in Geelong. We can’t wait to play in front of a packed house and I’d like to thank the Victorian Government and City of Greater Geelong for their support in giving us this opportunity,” Coventry added.
City of Greater Geelong Director of Investment & Attraction Brett Luxford said the news was a welcome addition to the region’s sporting events calendar.
“Geelong is highly regarded and acknowledged for staging world-class events, which attract participants and spectators from around the world. We are building on this by offering national and international teams the opportunity to play and train on elite level facilities, which the Renegades will utilise while in the region,” Luxford said.
Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Events and Leagues, Anthony Everard expressed his excitement about bringing the Big Bash to Geelong this season.
“The Geelong community has shown great enthusiasm for cricket, and the Big Bash in particular, in recent years and we are delighted to have the BBL and WBBL coming to Kardinia Park this season. The Renegades have done a wonderful job of expanding the fan base for the club into Geelong and surrounds over the past several years and have seized the opportunity to bring regular season matches to the city as the Big Bash expands, with the support of the City of Greater Geelong and the Victorian Government.
“With Big Bash matches now confirmed for Geelong and Launceston, with additional markets to be confirmed shortly, the excitement is building for the season and the prospect of more fans being able to enjoy the fast-paced family entertainment of the BBL and WBBL in their local communities,” Everard added.