A Record-Breaking Night

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History was made on Saturday night as 7,681 fans packed John Cain Arena to see the Southside Flyers take on the Sydney Flames, breaking the attendance record for a WNBL match.

The previous record of 7,500 was set in 1995 when Adelaide played Melbourne.

Saturday’s game honoured one of Australia’s greatest sporting exports and current Southside Flyer, Lauren Jackson AO OLY. With her family and friends in attendance, it was incredibly unfortunate the script didn’t go her way, with the 41-year-old suffering an injury in the first quarter which ruled her out for the rest of the match.

Owner of the Southside Flyers and ardent supporter of women’s basketball, Gerry Ryan OAM, strived to put his team on a bigger stage and was committed to making the game at John Cain Arena a reality.

“The quality of women’s basketball in this country is outstanding, we know how much our fans love the games and we wanted to extend it to a bigger audience,” he said.

“I appreciate the support of the Victorian Government and Melbourne & Olympic Parks who are great supporters of women’s sport and have made tonight possible,” said Ryan.

Post-game Jackson was disappointed but full of praise for the crowd.

“I’m really delighted to see so many fans come out tonight, I’m only sorry that I couldn’t be out there on the court making an impact,” Jackson said.

It was so inspiring to see a full arena, a special thank you to my family, Gerry and the Flyers fans for coming out tonight.

Jackson will undergo scans to determine the extent of her injuries.

Sydney Flames defeated Southside Flyers 68-67.