Living in the Northern Territory has plenty of advantages – stunning sunrises and sunsets, Uluru, the gateway to the past and a beautiful culture. There is just one thing missing: a national sports team.
Every other capital city around Australia, including Canberra in our other territory, has at least one senior professional sporting team – but the top end never has.
So, the logical question that has to be asked is why not? Why shouldn’t the Northern Territory and Darwin, in particular, have a top-level professional sporting team?
The Territory is an untapped resource for sport and there are great rewards to be had for whoever can turn that proverbial tap on. A few weeks ago, I asked the question of whether rugby league’s Queensland Cup should expand into the Northern Territory and a positive response was unanimous.
So why not go one step further and get a national sports team up here? This is 2017 so the excuse that Darwin is too far away does not wash anymore.
Perth is, in fact, further away from the eastern seaboard by plane than Darwin and the Western Australian capital now has four teams in three competitions – The West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers in the AFL, the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League and Perth Glory in the A-League.
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Granted, Perth has a bigger population than Darwin but that argument doesn’t have a leg to stand on either given the North Queensland Cowboys have been in Townsville for over two decades. Their population was only 80,000 when they were admitted to the NRL 1995 and since then, they have also had NBL and A-League teams.
Even though both have folded, they were still there.
Speaking of which, the NBL along with the Big Bash would probably be the best options for a national team in Darwin. Basketball is quite big in the capital and being an indoor sport, the wet season would not affect any games.
Cricket would also make a strong push into Darwin as it has the facilities and public interest.
With the population almost at 150,000 people and with plenty of people with cash to spare who don’t like boating, camping or fishing, this is really a gold mine waiting to be found.
Tell me Roarers, what do you think of Darwin getting a national sports team?