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A Wild Night Out

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by Leedy Astray (subscribe)
A Leederville local (Perth, Western Australia) who loves to share new & unique experiences. Always on the lookout for cool-ness. Check out my instagram page @leedy.astray
A wild night out at Perth Arena
What's in a wild night? A bunch of planet earth's closest impressions of giants, a frenzied mascot named 'Wilbur', a surprise appearance from a dinosaur, and a soundtrack that wouldn't be out of place at an Ozzy Osborne dinner party.

Sounds more like a scene from Gulliver's Travels than a night out at Perth Arena.

Perth Wildcats
A dinosaur on court at the basketball

If you haven't already guessed, I recently found myself at a Perth Wildcats game. I'll be the first to admit that Perth Arena had mountains of goodwill to repair with the public after poor planning resulted in cost and schedule overruns. But we forgive quickly and the resulting venue is perfect for basketball and entertainment.

Every seat has great viewing and with nigh on 15,000 capacity, the atmosphere inside is electric. Whether you are attending with the kids, mates, partner or a combination, all needs are catered for. The food is surprisingly tasty and you'll only be in line for a couple of minutes when sourcing a lager (or champagne for the girls) from one of the bars scattered around the perimeter.

Now for my take on the basketball

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague the other day about how basketball seems to be less about the sport and more about the fanfare. But these two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It is more likely that the high-octane, physical, tense nature of the sport breeds the crowd participation.

Let's take a trip to the free throw line by an opposition player as an example. How many sports could lay claim to encouraging fans to engage in extreme 'distraction behaviour' during crucial stages of a contest. Other codes may be noisy, but basketball has an MC yelling down the mic, music thundering through the speakers and fans waving large celebrity head cut outs behind the basket (wtf?).

Perth Wildcats
Damien Martin makes it two from two at the free throw line

Imagine a scene like this as Adam Scott lined up his putt at the second pay off hole to win the US Masters. Unimaginable!

Perhaps the best explanation lies in social psychology. Well-known French Social Psychologist Gustave Le Bon [1908] said this " by the mere fact that he forms part of an organized crowd, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilisation. Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd he is a barbarian a creature acting by instinct."

The one thing basketball has in spades over other sports is organisation. Stadium announcer Aaron Ford does a fine job of getting everyone loud and in sync.

All things said and done, do yourself a favour and get to a Perth Wildcats game. There is something for everyone and you don't need to be a sports lover to have a great night out. The best part is you don't have to commit more than a couple of hours and getting in and out of Perth Arena is pretty smooth. If by chance a babysitter is on the job, kicking on is not out of the question. A short walk and you'll find yourself at Fringe World or one of Perth's hipster bars.

A word of warning however, the words DE-FENCE, DE-FENCE may still be wringing in your ears for hours after.

Perth Wildcats
The dancers form part of the evenings entertainment

The next game at Perth Arena is a finals clash against the Cairns Taipans on Sunday, 1 March 2015. Coach Trevor Gleeson believes his team matches up well against Cairns so expect a fiery clash against this year's minor premiers. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek.
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Why? A great night/afternoon of sporting entertainment
Where: Perth Arena
Cost: Upwards from $20 ($10 for kids)
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