Sharks fans encouraged to arrive early for game

SHARKS: Training at Stadium Southland before the game.
SHARKS: Training at Stadium Southland before the game.

Sharks basketball fans should get to tonight's game early or risk standing in a queue.

The opening game of the team's 2014 NBL title defence tips off from 7pm against the Otago Nuggets.

With presales, season members and sponsors, about 1200 tickets have been sold for the game, but Sharks officials are aware those numbers are generally boosted by big walk-up crowds.

Tonight's game will be preceded by the raising of the Sharks' 2013 championship banner at 6.40pm. "It's just another reason to get to the game early," Sharks general manager Jill Bolger said.

"The last thing we want is for people to be lining up out in the car park."

The Zero-Fees-sponsored Sharks have retained most of the names that helped get them to a historic title win in 2013, including young Breakers star Reuben Te Rangi, Brian Conklin and Kevin Braswell.

Bolger encouraged fans to dress up in orange or maroon for the season opener, the first leg of a strong double-header as the Southern Steel netball team return to ILT Stadium Southland for Sunday's game against the Northern Mystics after their first win in Australia last weekend.