Mersey Tigers will play home games in Huyton

Mersey Tigers

Mersey Tigers will play their home fixtures at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park in Huyton for the duration of the 2011-12 campaign.

The reigning BBL champions played their home matches in Liverpool, Warrington and Manchester last season.

Tigers operations manager James Gordon told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It was a bit awkward having to play in Warrington and Manchester.

"It was important for us to find a permanent base in Merseyside."

The Tigers will reside at the new sporting facility on Longview Drive after deciding the Echo Arena was simply too big for their current needs.

"The Echo Arena is a fantastic venue but it's just a little bit too big for basketball in this country," Gordon said.

"We will be playing a handful of games at the Echo Arena but it was important for us to find a base in Merseyside that we could call our own."

This summer the Tigers have undergone a change of ownership and they are under their second name as a professional outfit, having previously been known as Everton Tigers, following a link-up with the city's professional football club.

The upheaval behind the scenes has not affected on-court performance. Last season the Tigers won the BBL Championship, the BBL play-off final and the BBL Trophy.

And Gordon believes professional basketball is now firmly established and set to stay on Merseyside.

"There is a call for basketball on Merseyside and it's our responsibility as the professional club to nurture the development of basketball.

"We want to become the leading club in the BBL both on the court and off the court," said Gordon.