ALSO IN 2003…
After the Ravens were replaced in 2002, it was the Sydney Sandpipers whose time ran out just before the end of the 2003 competition.
END OF THE ROAD FOR SYDNEY SANDPIPERS
August 19, 2003
The National Netball League has had the first major financial casualty of its seven-year existence, with the Sydney Sandpipers to be withdrawn from the Commonwealth Bank Trophy after next weekend’s final home-and-away round.
One of seven surviving foundation teams, the Sandpipers will follow the Adelaide Ravens – who were reluctantly replaced by a new team, the AIS Canberra Darters, this season – out of existence, after Netball NSW announced it was unable to support a second Sydney-based team.
The Sydney Swifts are the reigning premiers and one of only two franchises in the competition to attract a naming-rights sponsor this year. The Commonwealth Bank recently renewed its major sponsorship of the league, but corporate dollars have proved far more elusive at club level, despite the record crowd of 10,000 that attended a Sydney double-header in May.
Netball NSW has applied to replace the Sandpipers with a new team based outside the Sydney metropolitan area, but expressions of interest have also been sought from the remaining state and territory associations and must be received by Netball Australia by Friday. South Australia, now represented only by the Thunderbirds, is likely to seek the reinstatement of a second team in Adelaide.