Brett Maher Court
Looking east toward the main entrance, 5 April 2009
|Former names||Clipsal Powerhouse (1992–2002)
Distinctive Homes Dome (2003–2009)
Adelaide Dome (2009–2010)
|Location||44a Crittenden Road, Findon, South Australia|
|Owner||Scouts SA and
SA Church Basketball
|Opened||4 April 1992|
|Adelaide 36ers (NBL) (1992–present)
Adelaide Lightning (WNBL) (1993–2005, 2008–present)
Adelaide Thunderbirds (CBT) (1997–2000)
Adelaide Ravens (CBT) (1997–2000)
Adelaide Arena (formerly the Clipsal Powerhouse (1992–2002), Distinctive Homes Dome (2003–2009) and Adelaide Dome (2009–2010)) is a privately owned multipurpose indoor sports stadium located in Findon, an inner western suburb of Adelaide, South Australia.
It is the home stadium for the Adelaide 36ers of the NBL and the Adelaide Lightning of the WNBL. The arena seats 8,000 with numerous court side boxes and 19 elevated corporate suites. Although it can be a multipurpose venue catering to both sports and other events, the Adelaide Arena is currently the largest purpose built basketball arena in Australia, and as of the 2014–15 NBL season is the 5th largest venue currently used. The arena is also the largest venue currently used in the WNBL.
The floor of the arena is approximately five metres below ground level, giving the building a lower overall profile with spectators entering the arena above the main seating bowl. The venue was renamed the Adelaide Arena in 2010 after the Distinctive Homes naming rights sponsorship ended in 2009.
The Arena has been the Adelaide 36ers home venue since 1992 and the Adelaide Lightning's home on and off since 1993. Its sideline seating can be moved back and hidden to reveal a further 2 basketball courts for tournaments and practices and a floor space of 2190m².
The arena was built to replace the 36ers former home, the Apollo Stadium, which only seated 3,000 people in cramped conditions. Apollo had been superseded as Adelaide's major indoor venue by the opening of the 12,000 seat Adelaide Entertainment Centre, in 1991 and while popular opinion believed the 36ers would move to the AEC following the success of the Brisbane Bullets, Perth Wildcats and Sydney Kings who had all made the move to their cities larger entertainment centre's and were attracting record crowds, both the 36ers and the Basketball Association of South Australia desired to own the venue they played in, and to also have a permanent home for basketball in the state.
The 36ers opened their new A$16m, 8,000 seat home on 4 April 1992 with a 106-84 win over the North Melbourne Giants in front of a capacity crowd. The Clipsal Powerhouse was declared open by then Premier of South Australia and 36ers fan John Bannon (the Premier had been a regular spectator at 36ers games at Apollo). Top scoring for the 36ers that day were Butch Hays (26), Mark Davis (25) and Mark Bradtke (21). Making his debut for the Adelaide 36ers was an 18 year old local guard named Brett Maher who played 24:45, scoring 11 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Playing his first game for the Giants after 10 seasons with the 36ers, was Adelaide born guard, "The Iceman" Darryl Pearce.
Since its opening the arena has played host to games in the NBL Grand Final series in 1994 (1 game), 1998 (1 game), 1999 (1 game), 2002 (games 2 and 3) and 2014 (1 game) with the 36ers winning all games except the opening game of the 1994 series against a North Melbourne team containing then past and future 36ers championship players, Darryl Pearce and Paul Rees. The arena has also hosted the NBL All-Star Game in 1995 and 2006/07. Adelaide 36ers club MVP Robert Rose was named the All-Star Game MVP in 1995.
The NBL revived the All-star Game in 2012, having last played it in Melbourne in 2007/08, and it was that the Adelaide Arena would play host to 2012 NBL All-Star Game played on 22 December. Adelaide 36ers centre Daniel Johnson was named as starting centre for the South Stars team, while 36ers players Mitch Creek and Stephen Weigh were named as participants in the Slam Dunk competition and 3-Point Shootout respectively. Creek was forced to pull out of the Dunk competition due to a season ending Achilles tendon injury, while Weigh would win the 3-Point Shootout. The South All-Stars defeated the North All-Stars 134-114 in front of 4,523 fans (outside temperatures of 34.5° Celsius, and Sunday Christmas shopping were blamed for the low attendance). The 2012 All-Star Game was the third to be played at the Adelaide Arena, tying it for the most times hosting the event with The Glass House in Melbourne and the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
On January 31, 2009 the 36ers celebrated their 200th NBL victory at The Dome when they defeated long time rivals, the Perth Wildcats, 107-92.
On 7 February 2009 in front of a sellout (and over capacity) crowd in excess of 8,000, the main court of the Dome was renamed The Brett Maher Court in honor of retiring Adelaide 36ers captain Brett Maher who played his entire 526 game NBL career with the 36ers and only ever had The Dome as his NBL home court. Brett Maher was 36ers captain during their 1998, 1998/99 and 2001/02 NBL championship seasons and also appeared in the 1994 Grand Final series. The 36ers won the game 102-91 over the New Zealand Breakers with Maher one of Adelaide's better players, leading from the front with 17 points.
The Adelaide Arena has also played host to Boomers and Opals games against various visiting nations and other touring teams, including the opening game of a five game series between the Boomers and Magic Johnson's All-Stars, who included former NBA players such as captain/coach Johnson and three time NBA All-Star Mark Aguirre who top scored with 32 points, on 7 March 1995. The All-Stars defeated the Boomers (who included 36ers players Mark Davis, Brett Maher, Mike McKay, Chris Blakemore and Brett Wheeler) 113-98.
The Harlem Globetrotters have also played at the Adelaide Arena, the most recent being on 1 November 2013.
When it was opened in 1992 the Powerhouse also became the home of major netball games played in South Australia which had previously been played at Apollo, with the State league Grand Final being played there. The Australian Netball Diamonds have used the arena for test matches and from 1997 until the opening of the 3,000 seat ETSA Park (now Netball SA Stadium) in 2001 was the home of the Adelaide Thunderbirds and Adelaide Ravens who played in netball's Commonwealth Bank Trophy.
With netball's popularity increasing in recent years, most major games in Adelaide, including the 2010 ANZ Championship Grand Final (which attracted a record crowd of 9,300 for a game of netball in South Australia), as well as international matches, have been played at the larger Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The Dome was purchased by Eddy Groves (ABC Learning CEO and Brisbane Bullets team owner) and Mal Hemmerling in 2006 for A$3.95 million. In 2012, the Commonwealth Bank took possession of the arena after Eddy Groves had defaulted on the loan. It was reported at this time, that the bank had granted the Adelaide 36ers use of the venue for the 2012-13 season.
On April 3, 2013 It was announced that SA Church Basketball and Scouts SA had become joint owners of the Adelaide Arena, ensuring it remains the home of South Australia’s national basketball teams, the Adelaide 36ers and the Adelaide Lightning.
Scouts SA CEO, Dan Ryan said, “ We are very excited to be involved with this iconic South Australian Sports Stadium. It is an opportunity to co-brand Scouting with elite national level sport and the family demographic it attracts. We have a close and long term relationship with the 36ers management and very much benefit from this. When the Arena opportunity arose, a strategic decision was made to both broaden our investment portfolio and engage in another commercial fundraising activity.”
Despite the arena's ability to host more than just sporting events such as basketball and netball, the Government of South Australia placed restrictions on the venue's use since its opening in 1992. Due to the government owning the 12,000 capacity Adelaide Entertainment Centre which opened in 1991 (and their fear that the A$44m venue would be a white elephant), the Adelaide Arena was unable to be used for such events as concerts, with most major international musical acts having to perform at the AEC, or Adelaide's outdoor venues such as AAMI Stadium, Memorial Drive or the Adelaide Oval. Those restrictions were lifted in December 2014 allowing the Arena to host no-sporting events including music concerts.
- Nagy, Boti (3 April 2013). "Adelaide Arena's future secured". Adelaide Now.
- "Adelaide Dome". Austadiums. 4 November 2010. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- Adelaide Arena Venue Details
- NBL brings basketball All-Stars to Adelaide
- Nagy, Boti (14 August 2006). "All steady says Eddy". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-05-03.
- Arena future in balance