The University of Essex have opened up the Essex Sport Arena, a new 1600 seat basketball facility that is the culmination of 5 years of planning and £12million in investment.
The Essex Sport Arena is a new 3-court facility, with a maximum seating capacity of 1655, that will become the new home of National League club Essex Blades, with both the WNBL Division One leaders as well the NBL Division Three Men’s side being based there.
The venue is an international standard sport facility that is also capable of staging televised sporting events, along with hosting a 4-camera point-tilt-zoom HD performance analysis system that is capable of live streaming HD footage.
It also has court-side sports therapy treatment and rehabilitation rooms, a ‘Time Out’ lounge and bar overlooking the arena, changing rooms, gym/strength training area and the Human Performance Unit sports science department. Being on campus also means there is en-suite budget accommodation available July – September, making it a potential target for National Team training camps.
The University of Essex has already hosted multiple Great Britain Under-20 camps over the years.
“We set out to put together the perfect package of facilities, both on and off court, and I think we have just about nailed it,” said Dr Dave Parry, the Director of Sport at the University of Essex.
“We are working with both Basketball England and GB Basketball to make sure that this fabulous new facility contributes to the future growth and success of basketball in the East of England and the U.K. overall, and we also have ambitious plans for the continued development of our talent development programme, and our Essex Blades teams.
“We are really keen to work with any teams, clubs, organisations and members of the basketball community interested in utilising the Essex Sport Arena for camps, courses, and competitions.”
Some of the features of the Essex Sport Arena include:
– 3 court facility in addition to their existing 1 court facility (existing facility has sprung solid maple wood floor court)
– Maximum seating capacity 1655 seats
– Schelde twin-tube drop down, height adjustable basketball goals with shot clocks. Centre court has additional 2 pairs of Schelde drop-down goals
– Schelde Supersame FIBA L1 roll-out goals with shot clocks
– 3 x Stramatel scoreboards
– LED lighting, with up to 2500 lux on centre court, suitable for super slow motion in HD TV
– 8 speaker sound system, with plug and play facility in all network points around court (including in two courtside floor boxes)
– 4 camera HD point-tilt-zoom HD performance analysis camera system, also capable of live streaming HD footage
– Dynamik Helsinki 10-10 floor, and Haro sports wall system
– Court-side sports therapy treatment and rehabilitation rooms
– Time Out lounge and bar overlooking Arena
– First floor multi-use rooms overlooking Arena
– 4 large team changing rooms, plus two officials changing rooms
– Human Performance Unit sports science unit (www.humanperformanceunit.co.uk )
– 180 station Essex Sport Gym, including 4 lifting platforms and functional strength training area
– Parking for 1100 cars directly adjacent to the Essex Sport Arena
– 4 star Wivenhoe House Hotel with 40 beds (https://www.wivenhoehouse.co.uk/ )
– En-suite budget accommodation available July – September
– Wide range of catering options and on campus restaurants, bars, post office, launderette, cinema, and theatre
– Large and small conference and meeting facilities on campus
– All facilities within a 3 minute walk from the Essex Sport Arena, and campus set within 200 acres of historic parkland
– 40 minutes from London Liverpool Street by train, and 45 minute drive from London Stansted Airport
It becomes the latest basketball facility to open in the UK, as the game moves closer to having arena-style venues in a number of key locations across the country.
“As the match day promotion and marketing machine gets fully under way we anticipate attracting a crowd base to match anyone in the National League,” commented Essex Performance Head Coach Mark Lloyd.
“The arena will also be a focus point for the East of England and I believe will be instrumental to supporting the growth of the game in the region.”
Along with the thre basketball courts, there are also eight badminton courts, three netball courts, five volleyball courts and two futsal courts.
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