Pro basketball returning to at Flint Dort Federal CU Event Center

by Brendan Savage

FLINT, MI -- Pro basketball is returning to Flint's Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center for the first time in 16 years.

The Flint Monarchs of the Global Women's Basketball Association held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce they'd be playing their home games at the arena beginning next month.

The Monarchs are the two-time defending champions of the seven-team GWBA. They'll open their season June 2 in Illinois before hosting the Milwaukee Aces June 9 in a rematch of last year's championship game.

This season will mark the first time the arena has been home to a pro team since the Flint Fuze of the Continental Basketball Association played at what was then called Perani Arena in 2001-02.

The Fuze moved to Birch Run the following season.

The Monarchs, who have won four championships in their first seven seasons of existence, previously played at Cage Fieldhouse in Swartz Creek, Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint Township and Mott Community College in Flint.

The games at Dort Federal will be held in Arena II, which building manager Jeremy Torrey said can seat between 1,000 and 3,000. But if the Monarchs draw crowds approaching capacity, Torrey said the games would likely be moved to Arena I, which can seat more than 4,000 for basketball.

The Monarchs will play five games on the road and five at home during the regular season. Torrey said the final home game will likely be played in Arena I because Arena II already has an event scheduled.

Tickets are $10 per game for general admission. A season-ticket package for $50 will include all five home games as well as any home playoff games. Parking will be free.

Tickets are on sale at the Dort Federal box office.

On hand to make the announcement about the move to Dort Federal were owner Drey Wynn, assistant coach Linnell Jones-McKenney and star player Jasmine McCall.

McCall, a Detroit native who has played professionally in Spain and Egypt, will be among the 12 players on the Monarchs' roster. About half are expected to be from the Flint area.

Nicole Randolph will again serve as head coach.

In addition to Flint, Illinois and Milwaukee, the other GWBA teams this season will be based on Chicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis and Akron.

Flint Monarchs Play at Dort Federal CU Event Center