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Wolves looking to build on dream Arena debut
1:00pm Monday 7th October 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER Wolves are looking to harness the success of their University Arena curtain-raiser and keep attracting fans to the venue.
Around 1,700 supporters showed up for their 73-61 British Basketball League victory over Leicester Riders.
Capacity had originally been set 600 below the 2,000 maximum but tip-off was delayed by 15 minutes to cater for demand and extra seating brought in.
With homes matches to come against Cheshire Phoenix and Manchester Giants this Friday and next respectively, Wolves hope this will be the start of an exciting new era.
Mick Donovan, co-founder of Wolves and a driving force behind the Hylton Road venue, said: “We never thought we would get this kind of response to the first game and to bag a win in front of so many people was a dream.
“Leicester are the force in British basketball and we looked comfortable against them.
“It was like the old saying — build it and the people will come. The big challenge now is to maintain it for all the games in the year and get people hooked on attending.
“If the team are doing well, people will come and watch, whatever the sport.
“I really believe that in the future we can make basketball big in this city.”
Donovan also felt the experience was ideal for families and schoolchildren with cheerleaders, commentators and mascot Wolfie entertaining the crowd.
The head of the university’s institute of sport and exercise science added: “I stood for the last half-hour chatting to people and they just loved it, bringing their kids and sharing it together.
“We’ve worked so hard for years and even if people didn’t understand the rules, they enjoyed it.
“We’ve got a big opportunity here and have got to build on that.
“We’ve got to get out into the schools, keep going out into the community and get the people in.”