Boutique venue Manuka Oval has today been announced as the venue for next season's KFC T20 Big Bash League decider.
The final of the 2014-15 KFC T20 Big Bash League will be played at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Wednesday January 28.
Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Operations Mike McKenna made the announcement today, saying: “We have looked at a number of options for hosting the final of the Big Bash League, given the unique summer of international cricket that lies ahead and the significant demands that will place on venues around the country.
“That consideration, combined with our efforts to further establish the BBL as a truly national competition, was part of our decision making.
“We think the concept of staging the final in the neutral territory of the nation’s capital has merit. Manuka Oval has undergone significant work in recent times to upgrade facilities for fans.
“We think it can provide a great backdrop to the biggest match of the tournament while exposing a new market to the excitement of the league.
“It will follow two semi-finals played across the Australia Day weekend in other cities that will see teams compete for a place in the final and Champions League T20.”
In years gone by, the final has been played at the home ground of the higher-placed finalist, which has been Perth Scorchers on each occasion.
“Our goal is to create a carnival-like atmosphere at Manuka for the match and ensure it is a great event, much like finals of other major sporting competitions around the world which are held at neutral venues,” McKenna added.
“Part of our consideration was around kids. In the ACT it will still be school holidays when the final is played, making it attractive for families.
“Given the enthusiasm Canberra has shown towards staging cricket at Manuka, we expect to be able to fill the ground and create a great atmosphere.”
ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr believes Canberra have a unique opportunity with the venue.
“We have made significant investments in Manuka Oval with a view to making it the best boutique cricket venue in the country,” Barr said.
“As the national capital, Canberra is excited and proud to host this final. I am sure Canberra cricket fans will come in their droves, and we are confident tickets will sell out quickly.”
Manuka Oval has undergone significant work in recent years to bring it up to international standard, with the Federal and ACT Governments investing $5 million to install light towers and further funding to resurface the playing arena and add new seating.
The venue will also host a Carlton-Mid One-Day International between Australia and South Africa on November 19 and three matches of the ICC World Cup 2015 in February and March. The annual Prime Minister’s XI match will take place on 14 January 14.
Tickets for the KFC T20 Big Bash League, including the final, go on sale on October 28.