WACA's $175m pitch for smaller, shady stadium
18 November 2016
WACA CEO Christina Matthews announced the bid at the ground yesterday morning, flagging a cut in the ground’s capacity to a boutique 15,000, greater shade for patrons and centres of excellence at the ground to house both cricket and WA Football Commission programs.
Within an hour of Ms Matthews press conference, the WAFC released its own statement declaring the WACA its preferred location to relocate to when AFL games are shifted from Domain Stadium to the new stadium at Burswood.
“We have also presented to the Labor Party to make sure that both parties are aware of what we are trying to do but the official submission has gone into the state government,” Ms Matthews said.
“Our ask of the state government is $175 million and we will wait and see on the response is from the government in due course.”
Ms Matthews said she was confident that football would be a co-tenant at the ground in the near future and the first stage would include turning the ground, cut off at its eastern and western ends in its last redevelopment, would include turning the ground back into an oval.
“We are getting to the pointy end of negotiations with football. We have actually agreed on key terms however football can’t make a commitment until their negotiations with government on their own funding are completed. But things in the past four weeks have been very positive and I would be confident that all things going well with their funding application we will see football here at the WACA Ground,” she said.
Artist impressions of the redevelopment suggest it will focus on the area now occupied by the Prindiville Stand at the WACA’s northern end. Ms Matthews said there would also be an attempt to provide more grass banks and natural shade.
“What I can tell you is there will be a focus on shade, a mixture of permanent shading but also a more natural approach to the ground with trees and grass banks. Our final plans will depend on whether the government gives us full funding or less than that.”
WAFC chairman Murray McHenry was confident football and cricket could create a “true partnership” at the ground.
The re-developed WACA could host WAFL games, State football and Umpiring and Talent Academy programs.
“We strongly agree that a redeveloped WACA Ground would complement Perth Stadium and provide wide-reaching benefits to the local community and regional WA. The two venues would provide Perth with a truly world class sporting precinct that supports the development of the State’s two largest sports,” Mr McHenry said.