Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
The Brisbane Heat are set to launch summer in style with the announcement today that the club will host the opening fixture of the 2023-24 KFC Big Bash League season.
The Heat’s mantra of ‘We Are Summer’ will ring true as the Melbourne Stars travel to the Gabba for Opening Night in BBL|13 on Thursday December 7, followed by four more games on the hallowed Brisbane turf in the peak of the summer and festive season holidays.
As announced yesterday, the Heat has retained the marquee January 1 timeslot against the Sydney Sixers which will see the second running of the New Year’s Bash (NYB). The inaugural NYB, featuring performances by Oz music headliners Peking Duk, Ball Park Music, and Stace Cadet + KLP, was a smash hit last summer, with the club recording its biggest crowd since the pre-COVID seasons, complemented by a national TV audience of over 850,000 viewers. This summer’s New Year’s Bash headliners are expected to be announced in August.
With BBL|13 reverting from a 61-game competition to a 44-game season, each club has five home games as a result. The compacted BBL season (40 regular season matches plus 4 finals) is a key feature in Cricket Australia’s extended seven-year broadcast deal with the Foxtel Group and Seven West Media. The schedule will allow greater BBL access for fans with all Heat games to be played in primetime and in the summer school holidays.
The Heat’s five Gabba home games feature Opening Night against the Stars, followed by the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday 27 December, the Sixers on New Year’s Day, Hobart Hurricanes on Sunday 7 January before hosting a repeat of last year’s Final against the Perth Scorchers on Wednesday January 10.
Brisbane will play the Adelaide Strikers, Melbourne Renegades, Thunder, Sixers, and Scorchers away, including their first ever clash with the Sixers in Coffs Harbour.
Brisbane Heat CEO Terry Svenson said the transition to the more compact season model meant that all Heat BBL home games would be played at the Gabba this summer.
“We were delighted to take our first ever BBL game to Cairns last summer and hosting more high-level cricket at Cazalys Stadiums remains firmly on our radar for the future, as does more cricket on the Gold Coast going forward. We’ll continue discussing how we can take games to regional Queensland, which will be important to us as we investigate where cricket will be played while the Gabba is being redeveloped.”
On the Heat’s BBL|13 fixture, Mr Svenson said:
“We’re excited about the return of the New Year’s Bash, which will slot nicely into a series of home games during the peak festive holiday period this summer. Last year’s event was one of the highlights of the summer, so it’s great we can retain this game and build it into something special for our fans and players.
“Likewise, we see hosting the Opening Night fixture as a great opportunity. Having made it to the Grand Final last summer, we’re expecting there to be a lot of excitement from our fans as we seek to go one better in BBL|13.
“The compact nature of the schedule will help the BBL continue as a summer staple for our fans with all our home games in primetime and on ideal dates during the school holidays. Last summer we made the Gabba a fortress winning four of our five games. Our players thrive off playing in front of big crowds, so we’d love to see a full Gabba for all five home games this season.”
The Weber Women’s Big Bash League fixtures for 2023-24 will be released next week.
Today’s fixture announcement has coincided with Brisbane Heat memberships going on sale. Fans will have the flexibility of signing up for a five or two-game memberships, which also includes access to WBBL fixtures.
Memberships are on sale through www.brisbaneheat.com.au from $35 for kids and $70 for adults.
2023-24 KFC BIG BASH LEAGUE
BRISBANE HEAT FIXTURES (all times AEST)
• Thursday December 7 vs Melbourne Stars (Gabba) – 6:15pm
• Saturday December 9 vs Adelaide Strikers (Adelaide) – 6:15pm
• Tuesday December 12 vs Sydney Thunder (Canberra) – 6:15pm
• Thursday December 21 vs Melbourne Renegades (Marvel) – 6:15pm
• Wednesday December 27 vs Sydney Thunder (Gabba) – 6:15pm
• Monday January 1 vs Sydney Sixers (Gabba) – 6:15pm
• Wednesday January 3 vs Sydney Sixers (Coffs Harbour) – 5:05pm
• Sunday January 7 vs Hobart Hurricanes (Gabba) – 6:15pm
• Wednesday January 10 vs Perth Scorchers (Gabba) – 6:40pm
• Saturday January 13 vs Perth Scorchers (Perth) – 6:15pm