NELSON, NEW ZEALAND - 23 MAY: Mike Pero Nelson Giants vs Wellington Saints, 23 May 2015, Saxton Stadium, Nelson, New Zealand. (Photo by: Barry Whitnall Shuttersport Limited)

Nelson Giants 2016 season


The hashtag says it all, the Mike Pero Nelson Giants will #returntothehanger.

Two years after earthquake strengthening issues forced the Giants from their spiritual home, they will once again play their homes games at the Trafalgar Centre from the start of this season.

Operations manager of the Giants, Janie Granger, says playing home games at Saxton Stadium over the past two seasons has had some positives, but the Trafalgar Centre – also dubbed the Hanger – is home.

“We’re all excited about going home. It will mean more fans, a more intense atmosphere for visiting teams and it just feels right. The hashtag picks up on all that.”

Fico Finance Nelson Giants v Hawkes Bay Hawks, 4 May 2012,  The Hangar, Nelson, New Zealand Photo: Marc Palmano/
The Mike Pero Nelson Giants will be back at their spiritual home, the Trafalgar Centre for the 2016 NBL season.

For those that aren’t tech-savvy, hashtags help link various comments on social media to one subject. Each team in the National Basketball League was asked to pick a hashtag for their team. Janie says the move back to the Trafalgar Centre hasn’t been straightforward, with around 250 season ticket holders needing to be contacted to make sure they wanted the seats they had when they were last at the Trafalgar Centre.

“We have season ticket holders that go back to the 1980s and they have ‘their’ seats, so that has been a mission. Now we can finally throw the doors open for others who would like to buy season tickets this year.”

On the court, captain Sam Dempster says they are gelling well and that showed at the pre-season Blitz tournament in Poirua late last month. The Giants collected wins over competition heavyweights Wellington Saints, as well as the Canterbury Rams and a local side.

The Giants will play their first three games of the season away from home, the first this Friday night against Canterbury in Christchurch.

Their first home game is on Saturday, April 2 against Taranaki.

Janie says with sponsors all lined up, the team looking sharp and the games back at the hanger, all they need now are the crowds.

“Saxton probably suited Richmond people, but not Nelson people. But we are hoping more people will come back on board now that we’re at the Trafalgar Centre.”

The Noise Crew and Wannabes also add to the atmosphere inside the stadium during games and both are back on board this season.

As an added bonus, McDonald’s Nelson has come on board as a sponsor and will give everyone in the crowd a free cheeseburger if the Giants score 100 points in a game. Janie says people just need to hold onto their ticket stub and use it to get a free cheeseburger on the night of the game.

To enquire about season tickets email [email protected] or call the office between 9am and 1pm on 970 0474. Tickets for games are available from Richmond Mall, Call-a-geek Nelson and Jack Robins Stadium in Stoke.