Vitality Netball Superleague 2020 set for new Season Opener
The event will take place live on Sky Sports on February 22, 2020 at Arena Birmingham
Last Updated: 19/08/19 11:47am
The 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague season will have an additional round with a new Season Opener taking place on February 22, 2020, at the Arena Birmingham.
As the competition enters its 15th year, the opening round will be based on teams' finishing places from the 2019 season and will contribute to their overall totals, creating a 19-round regular season.
The headline clash of the day will see a re-match of the 2019 Grand Final as the reigning champions Manchester Thunder take on Wasps Netball.
Team Bath's meeting with Loughborough Lightning will be equally intriguing as every team takes on the side that finished closest to them at the end of the 2019 season.
All five matches will be played back-to-back in Birmingham, live on Sky Sports, with the first Centre Pass taking place at 11am on February, 22.
2020 Vitality Netball Superleague - Fixtures for Season Opener
|11am||Strathclyde Sirens vs London Pulse|
|12:30pm||Celtic Dragons vs Surrey Storm|
|2pm||Saracens Mavericks vs Severn Stars|
|3.30pm||Team Bath vs Loughborough Lightning|
|5pm||Wasps vs Manchester Thunder|
The additional round means that each franchise will play the Season Opener as well as nine home and nine away fixtures in a bid to finish in the top four and progress into the play-offs.
"We are delighted to be returning to Arena Birmingham after a very successful Super 10 in 2019," said Mark Evans, Vitality Netball Superleague's Independent Chair.
"It is always a wonderful start to the season and this year, a change in format should see five really tight competitive games - making a great event even better."
"A re-run of last year's Grand Final will be the highlight of the day but fans of all the clubs will be excited to see their favourites in action. The season itself should be our best yet, as the sport goes from strength to strength"
Surrey Storm's Director of Netball, Mikki Austin, has already taken to social media to share her excitement about the squad that she's developing for the forthcoming Superleague season.
Austin, who was an integral part of Sky Sports' presentation team at the World Cup, believes that the new Season Opener will re-commence domestic netball on exactly the right note.
"Season Opener 2020 is sure to be a hugely exciting start to the season!" she said. "Not only does the Vitality Netball Superleague provide world-class sporting action but also exceptional entertainment and events."
The signing window for the 2020 season is open for all franchises with Eboni Usoro-Brown and Laura Malcolm becoming the first players to re-commit to the franchises that they were part of last season.
From a coaching point of view, there has been a wealth of announcements already including Melissa Bessell taking over at Severn Stars and Lesley MacDonald moving into the head coach role at Strathclyde Sirens.
Netball is back on your screens in October with the Fast5 All Stars Championship. We will cover all the twists and turns of the off-season as the Vitality Netball Superleague teams shape their squads for the 2020 season, which you can follow on Sky Sports.