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AIS Arena reopens after renovations Image: AIS Arena, Robert Myers, CC-BY-SA 3.0 AU

The AIS Arena in Canberra, Australia, has reopened its doors as a multipurpose and fully accessible venue with new seating, lighting and air conditioning among the many upgrades.

‘sportaus.gov.au’ stated that the Minister for Finance and Senator for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), The Hon Katy Gallagher, and the Minister for Sport, The Hon Anika Wells, visited the AIS campus in Canberra on July 3rd to officially reopen the new-look AIS Arena with the work made possible thanks to a $15 million investment from the Australian Government.

The AIS Arena is a multipurpose arena in Canberra, Australia. Its capacity is 5,200 and it was built in 1980. The arena was opened on January 26th, 1981 and was originally named the National Indoor Sports Centre and was the inaugural home of the Australian Institute of Sport.

‘sportaus.gov.au’ quoted Minister Wells as stating, “The AIS Arena has hosted many iconic sporting and community events over the past 40 years and now these upgrades mean it can host even more events for everyone to enjoy. The new-look AIS Arena will be able to host a wide range of sporting events catering for able and para sport from the grassroots to the elite as well as community events.”
 

The upgrades include:

  • New fixed and retractable seating to accommodate a wide range of sport, music and community events;
  • New lighting, scoreboards, light-emitting diode (LED) screens, and public address (PA) system;
  • Air-conditioning;
  • Glass viewing platforms for the wheelchair users, a hearing loop and accessible bathrooms;
  • Modern and flexible change rooms and green rooms; and
  • A new floor that can be set up and packed down as required and used by multiple sports.

 
The AIS Arena closed to the public in 2020 due to safety concerns and briefly reopened in September 2021 to support the ACT’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout where it operated as a mass vaccination clinic and administered more than 288,000 COVID-19 vaccinations to the ACT community.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) head honcho Kieren Perkins OAM (Order of Australia) thanked the Australian Government for their ongoing support.

Canberra (Australia)-based the Australian Sports Commission is the Australian Government Commission responsible for supporting and investing in sport in Australia. The Commission incorporates the Australian Institute of Sport. From 2018 to 2022, it was known as the Sport Australia.

The Australian Institute of Sport is a high performance sports training institution in Australia. The institute’s 66-hectare headquarters were opened in 1981 and are situated in the Northern suburb of Bruce, Canberra.

Put in Perkins, “The AIS Arena is a much-loved venue and we’re grateful to the Australian Government for investing in this facility that will provide more opportunities for the Australians to get involved in sport. We know the sporting events are a great source of pride for many Australians and I look forward to welcoming a host of sport, entertainment and community events to the campus.”

Events on the Arena’s schedule for the second half of 2024 include the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships Opening Ceremony, the Uni Sport National Championships, Skipping Australia National Championships, and the I Compete Natural (ICN) Body Building World Championships.

The Australian Sports Commission also continues to work closely with the University of Canberra Capitals to bring the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) games back to the AIS Arena in time for the 2024-2025 seasons.

The University of Canberra Capitals are an Australian professional women’s basketball team competing in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL). The team is based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. In 2014, the University of Canberra Union took control of the Capitals from the Basketball ACT (the governing body for the sport of basketball in the ACT). They play their home games at the 2,478-capacity National Convention Centre Canberra in Canberra, Australia.

Sydney (Australia)-based the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is a professional women’s basketball league in Australia composed of eight teams. The league was founded in 1981 and is the women’s counterpart to the National Basketball League (NBL).

Melbourne (Australia)-based the National Basketball League (NBL) is a men’s professional basketball league in Australasia currently composed of 10 teams: Nine in Australia and one in New Zealand. It is the premier professional men’s basketball league in Australia and New Zealand.

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