Perth Stadium

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Optus Stadium
Perth Stadium
Optus Stadium logo.png
E37 Perth Stadium Open Day 089.JPG
View eastward in January 2018
Location Burswood, Western Australia
Coordinates 31°57′4″S 115°53′20.5″E / 31.95111°S 115.889028°E / -31.95111; 115.889028Coordinates: 31°57′4″S 115°53′20.5″E / 31.95111°S 115.889028°E / -31.95111; 115.889028
Owner Government of Western Australia
Operator VenuesLive[1][2]
Capacity 60,000[3] (Oval)
~65,000 (Rectangular)
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground December 2014
Opened 11 December 2017 (soft)
21 January 2018 (official)
Architect Hassell, HKS, Cox
Tenants
Fremantle Football Club (AFL / AFLW) (2018–)
West Coast Eagles (AFL) (2018–)
Perth Scorchers (BBL / WBBL) (2018–)
Ground information
Capacity 60,000 [4]
International information
Only ODI 28 January 2018:
 Australia v  England
Team information
Western Australia (Cricket) (2018–)
Perth Scorchers (BBL) (2018–)
Perth Scorchers Women (WBBL) (2018–)
As of 28 January 2018
Source: Cricinfo

Perth Stadium, also known by naming rights sponsorship as Optus Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Perth, Western Australia, located in the suburb of Burswood. It was completed in late 2017 and officially opened on 21 January 2018. The stadium has a capacity of over 60,000 people, making it the third-largest stadium in Australia (after the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Stadium Australia).

Perth Stadium is primarily used for Australian rules football and cricket. Perth's two Australian Football League (AFL) teams – the Fremantle Football Club and the West Coast Eagles – relocated their home games from Subiaco Oval to Perth Stadium, while the Perth Scorchers play their Big Bash League home games at the venue, having previously played at the WACA Ground.

Perth Stadium was built by a consortium led by Multiplex. The announcement of the Burswood location in June 2011 followed a series of earlier proposals for the stadium, including locations in Subiaco and East Perth.

History

Early proposals

The Burswood Park Golf Course was closed and the stadium built on its northern end

In 2003, the Government of Western Australia commissioned a review to examine the future of major sporting venues in Western Australia. To conduct the review, a taskforce was appointed, chaired by John Langoulant, Chief Executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, and it released its final report in May 2007.[5] The report recommended the construction of a new 60,000 seat stadium at either Kitchener Park (which adjoins Subiaco Oval) or in East Perth, which would be suitable for Australian rules football, cricket and also rectangular-field sports such as soccer, rugby union and rugby league. The taskforce recommended against the further development of Subiaco Oval, which would be demolished. It also recommended against building the new stadium at the site of Burswood, stating that "The development costs at the Burswood site would be significantly higher due to local site conditions and the need for significant upgrades to transport infrastructure."[6]

In July 2007, the Government of Western Australia announced its preference to build a new 60,000-seat stadium rather than re-develop Subiaco Oval,[7] and in early 2008 it confirmed that Subiaco Oval would be demolished for the new Perth super-stadium to be built next door at Kitchener Park.[8] This site was chosen ahead of the other suggested site at the old East Perth Power Station, which was set aside to house a new $500 million museum.[9]

The new stadium at Subiaco was scheduled to be built between 2011 and 2016, with the majority of the stadium to be completed in 2014. Subiaco Oval was to be demolished between 2014 and 2016 to allow the end of construction on Perth Stadium. The staged construction would have allowed for Australian rules football to be played at the new venue by 2014, when the stadium was two-thirds completed with an initial capacity of 40,000 seats. The final stage would be completed in 2016 and expand the stadium's capacity to 60,000.[8][10]

Stadium plans suggested its playing surface would have been oval in shape to accommodate Australian rules football and cricket games. The stadium was also expected to have retractable seating which would have reconfigured the venue to make it suitable for rectangular-field sports codes, such as soccer, rugby union and rugby league.[11] These retractable seats were to number 22,000, and were to be situated along the touch lines and behind the posts in the rectangular configuration. With an overall planned capacity of 60,000, Perth Stadium would have been Western Australia's largest sports venue, and it was designed to be built such that the capacity could be increased to 70,000 if needed in the future.[10]

The stadium was expected to be primarily used for Australian rules football with the ability to host cricket, rugby union, rugby league and soccer matches. It was planned that it would be the home ground for the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers, the two Western Australian teams in the Australian Football League. It was also to be the home ground for Perth's Super Rugby rugby union team the Western Force, and possibly host rugby union Test matches, soccer and rock concerts.[10]

The cost for the Kitchener Park stadium was expected to reach $1.1 billion, including $800 million on construction of the stadium itself and $300 million on associated infrastructure, property acquisition, escalation, transport infrastructure and other costs.[8] Construction of the new stadium would have involved moving 27 private residences and moving residents from another 66 state housing properties surrounding Subiaco Oval. These state housing tenants would have been relocated within the Subiaco area.[10] The project was going to be funded by the Government of Western Australia.[9][10]

Following the election of a new State Government under Colin Barnett, the new stadium's plans were scrapped in early February 2009. Barnett stated that a new stadium would not be considered for at least two years.[12] As a result of Australia's failed bid for the 2022 World Cup, $250 million in potential Federal Government funding for a new stadium was also withdrawn in December 2010.[13]

Burswood location

In June 2011, the State Government announced that the new stadium would be built in Burswood, Western Australia on the northern section of the Burswood Park golf course.[14] The government stated that the Burswood site was preferred because it was unconstrained by surrounding developments and had the additional benefit of being government-owned.[6] It would also allow for a special events six-platform Perth Stadium railway station to be built and could be connected to the central business district via a pedestrian bridge across the Swan River to East Perth.[15] A car park was not built to service the stadium, with visitors expected to either park in the city and walk across the bridge or use public transport.[16]

The Government stated that planning for the new stadium at Burswood was due to be completed by mid-2012, with construction commencing in 2014 and scheduled for completion in 2018. It announced Multiplex as the contract holders for the construction of the stadium and appointed the firm Populous as the project's architectural consultants.[14]

Construction

Cost

Perth Stadium under construction, photographed from Victoria Park Drive in May 2016

Following the Barnett Government's announcement to move the site of the proposed stadium to Burswood, it stated that the stadium would cost around $700 million, with an extra $300 million allocated to public transport works.[14][6] However, in December 2011 Premier Colin Barnett stated that it was too early to say what the final cost would be, explaining that "No one can put a price on it until it's designed, until it goes out to tender".[6]

The previous Government's Major Stadia Taskforce had earlier put the total cost of the Burswood stadium option, including transport needs, at $1.147 billion.[14] This higher cost, comparative to the sites at Subiaco or East Perth, was mainly "due to the need to provide substantial transport infrastructure as well as the additional costs associated with site conditions (i.e. reclaimed flood plain and site previously used as the Perth Municipal Rubbish Dump which included industrial as well as domestic landfill up until 1971)."[17] In June 2011 the West Australian newspaper reported that due to an increase in construction costs since the release of the task force report in 2007, the total cost will be close to $1.5 billion, assuming work begins within two years.[14]

The Australian Football League agreed to help pay for Perth's new stadium at Burswood, although it was not revealed how much money it would contribute.[18] However, the nearby Crown Perth, which is expected to benefit commercially from the presence of the stadium, was not asked by the Barnett Government to help meet the construction costs.[19]

The final cost of the completed stadium was $1.6 billion. This equated to an average cost per Western Australian household of $1500, and per person of $600.[20]

Impacts

Perth Stadium under construction, photographed from East Perth in July 2016

The site is located on the Burswood Peninsula, previously known as the Swan Portland Cement Site. The Swan Portland Cement Company Ltd operated at the site from 1927 and James Hardie Industries operated at the adjacent site from the 1920s up until 1981. In its report and recommendations, Remediation and Redevelopment of the Swan Portland Cement Site, Burswood, (January, 1998) the Environmental Protection Authority, states "The current site is contaminated with asbestos waste from the James Hardie operations and cement kiln dust, kiln bricks and associated contaminated soil and hydrocarbons from the Swan Portland cement operations." In its report it estimates 750,000 m3 cement kiln dust on the site, the effects of which should be managed, with regard to its effects upon public health, groundwater and surface water. Three zones of asbestos contamination on the site were identified in the report; zone 1 having 68,000 cubic metres of broken and loose asbestos, zone 2 having 150,000 cubic metres of asbestos contamination up to 15 metres below ground level and zone 3 being 180,000 cubic metres of asbestos contamination within 600,000 cubic metres of cement kiln dust.

The EPA report states that while undisturbed in the soil, the contamination poses no threat to public health but disturbing the site will result in airborne asbestos fibres and contamination from the soil. The EPA recommended a management plan for any disturbance of asbestos contamination to be conducted by the Town of Victoria Park.

In November 2012, Victoria Park residents contacted the Health Department to notify them asbestos and other material had been unearthed by work on the southern parking lot of the Casino complex.[21] Alarmed residents feared asbestos exposure to locals, park users and Casino patrons. Although the Health Department advised that no risk had been identified, stock piles were sprayed with hydromulch, windbreaks were put on fencing, contaminant levels were being monitored and paths and loose soil were sealed. The Premier's office advised that the Department of Building Management and Works were undertaking the project. The Health Department assured residents there was "no risk to the general public".

The construction of the stadium had an impact on Aboriginal communities. Although the State Solicitor's Office advises that native title has been extinguished over the site, it has heritage significance for the local indigenous people, the Whadjuk Noongar, being a burial site. Despite the Department of Indigenous Affairs advising the existence of the registered Aboriginal Heritage site affecting the Burswood Peninsula and East Perth foreshore, the site was deregistered by the Barnett Liberal State Government. Following the Supreme Court decision Robinson v Fielding [2015] WASC 108 to reinstate DAA 22874 (Marapikurrinya Yintha – Port Hedland Harbour) after it had been deregistered by the Barnett government,[22] the Burswood Island Burial site was reassessed in October 2016 but remains "Not a Site" under the Aboriginal Heritage Act (AHA).[23] Previously the site was recognised by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA) as DAA site 15914: Burswood Island Burial. "Several culturally significant sites around WA have had their protection withdrawn in the past year on the basis they no longer fit the definition of a sacred site. Guidelines issued by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs stated that to be a recognised as sacred site, a place needs to have been devoted to religious use rather than simply mythological stories, songs or beliefs."[24]

Opening

The first event to be held at the stadium was a Twenty20 match between the Perth Scorchers and the England Lions on 11 December 2017, followed by a second match between the same teams two days later.[25] It was officially opened to the public on 21 January 2018 with a free open day for the community.[26]

Naming rights

Perth Stadium logo prior to sale of naming rights.

During construction, then-Premier Colin Barnett had maintained that the government would not be selling the naming rights for the stadium as it would "not be appropriate for such a significant piece of State-owned infrastructure".[27] Instead he suggested a name such as "Swan Stadium" or "River Stadium" – named after the adjacent Swan River – would be more appropriate.[28] Ultimately, the name Perth Stadium was settled on as it was more representative of Western Australia.[29] In the lead up to the state election in March 2017, Labor, then in opposition, announced that it would sell the naming rights for both Perth Stadium and Perth Arena as part of a plan to return the state budget to surplus if it were to win government.[30]

Despite initially suggesting it might retain the Perth Stadium name or at least retain "Perth" in any naming rights arrangement,[31] the new McGowan government announced on 8 November 2017 that the stadium would be officially known as Optus Stadium. Optus, the second-largest telecommunication company in Australia, and the state government agreed to a 10-year naming rights deal that is thought to be worth approximately $50 million in value.[32]

Facilities

Architecture and design

Exterior view of the stadium in December 2017; its stylistic brown facade visible.

As with the earlier plans for the new stadium at Kitchener Park, the stadium seats 60,000 spectators, with the ability to seat up to 70,000 in rectangular mode.[33] Initially in the early design stages, it was hoped the venue could have the potential to expand to 80,000 seats in the future by adding a third tier along one wing and another tier on the opposite side of the ground each holding 10,000 seats.[34] Even at 60,000, Perth Stadium still has the third-biggest capacity of any stadium in the country.[18]

The field is 165 m (541 ft) long and 130 m (430 ft) wide, 5 m (16 ft) longer than both the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, but 10 m (33 ft) shorter than Subiaco Oval (175 by 122 m (574 by 400 ft).[34] It is a multi-purpose facility able to hold not only sporting events such as Australian rules football and major rugby league, rugby union, cricket and soccer games, but major cultural events such as concerts.[9]

Food and amenities

The stadium is serviced by over 50 food and beverage outlets, with patrons able to follow on-field action on TV screens.[35] The Camfield, a large pub, microbrewery and function centre, is located outside the stadium and open seven days a week.[36]

There are two 340 m2 (3,700 sq ft) screens on either end of the stadium and over 1,000 TV screens located within it. The stadium has 748 male, 781 female and 60 accessible toilets.[37] Security features include an on-site police station, 650 CCTV cameras around the stadium and surrounding precinct, and freestanding metal detectors at the stadium.[38][39]

Transport

The purpose-built Perth Stadium railway station, serviced by Transperth's Armadale and Thornlie Line services.
Perth Stadium Bus Station, consisting of 22 stands and currently serviced by nine Transperth bus routes.

As the stadium is located on a peninsula with limited road access, the majority of visitors will have to travel to and from the stadium by means other than car, with public transport being the primary way. The Public Transport Authority aims to get 83 percent of visitors to use public transport.[40] The six-platform Perth Stadium railway station and 22-stand Perth Stadium Bus Station located nearby are expected to serve an estimated 28,000 and 8,000 passengers respectively on event days.[40][41]

8,600 people are expected to walk and cycle across the Swan River via the Windan Bridge (and an additional 14,300 when the Matagarup Bridge is completed) to public transport and car parks in East Perth.[42] There are 600 bicycle parking spots located around the stadium precinct. The stadium has 1,400 car parking bays, but they are reserved for staff, premium ticket holders and disability parking.[40] A taxi rank is located next to the stadium; it is off-limits to ridesharing companies, including Uber.[43]

A 96-metre (315 ft) jetty is under construction near Matagarup Bridge and expected to be completed in mid-2018. It will accept drop-offs only from private and commercial vessels. A public ferry service is not planned but the jetty would be able to accommodate such a service.[44][45]

Stadium uses

Australian rules football

Perth Stadium is primarily used for Australian rules football matches in the Australian Football League (AFL) from March–September. The stadium was constructed to provide a new home ground for the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers, Perth's two professional AFL clubs. The state government negotiated an agreement with the AFL and the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) in October 2017, allowing the Eagles and Dockers to play their home matches at the venue from the start of the 2018 season, in exchange for a $10.3 million a year guarantee for the WAFC until 2028.[46] Fremantle's women's team hosted the first Australian rules football match at the venue against Collingwood on 10 February 2018, and the attendance of 41,975 was the highest stand-alone figure in domestic women's sport.[47] The first AFL premiership match to be played at the new stadium will be contested between West Coast and Sydney on 25 March 2018.[48]

Cricket

Cricket matches, such as Tests, One Day Internationals (ODI) and Twenty20s, are held at the stadium in the months of October–February. Since late 2017, the Australia national cricket team play most of their Perth-based Tests, One Day and Twenty20 matches at the venue.[49] The stadium is also the home ground of Big Bash League side Perth Scorchers, who relocated from the WACA Ground in 2018.[49] Perth Stadium has been provisionally selected to be a venue for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in 2020. The first major event at the stadium was an ODI match between Australia and England on 28 January 2018, which England won by 12 runs.[50]

Perth Stadium is the 19th venue in Australia to host a One Day International cricket game.[51]

Other sports

Other sports will use Perth Stadium for high-profile matches. Test matches in the rugby league State of Origin series and rugby union Bledisloe Cup will be played at the stadium in 2019.[52][53] The stadium will host a match between Perth Glory and Chelsea FC on 23 July 2018. It is likely Australia's national soccer team (the Socceroos) will play some World Cup Qualifiers and friendlies at the venue in the coming years.[citation needed] The National Rugby League (NRL) will play a double-header in round 1 of the 2018 NRL season.[54]

Entertainment

Perth Stadium is also capable of hosting major concerts and other entertainment events. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift will perform at the venue in 2018.[55][56] Nitro Circus will be bringing their Next Level tour to the stadium on 22 April.[57]

Attendance records

Sports

Attendance Date Participants Event Series
1 53,781 28 January 2018 Australia def. by England One Day International cricket England tour of Australia 2017–18 [50]
2 52,960 1 February 2018 Perth Scorchers def. by Hobart Hurricanes Domestic Twenty20 cricket 2017–18 Big Bash League season [58]
3 41,975[a] 10 February 2018 Fremantle def. Collingwood AFL Women's Australian rules football 2018 AFL Women's season [47]

Other events

Attendance Date Participants Event Series
1 110,000 (spread throughout the day)[b] 21 January 2018 General public Official opening and open day Nil [26]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This was the highest domestic attendance for a stand-alone women's sporting event.[47]
  2. ^ Time limited, hourly segments, no seating allocation[59][60]

References

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  2. ^ "VenuesL!ve". Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
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  5. ^ Major Stadia Taskforce, The Stadium and the City, May 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d No price tag on Burswood sports stadium Archived 19 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation 16 December 2011, retrieved 2 February 2012.
  7. ^ New stadium the right option, Kobelke says Archived 21 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine. AAP in The West Australian 4 July 2007
  8. ^ a b c "Perth to get new $1.1 billion stadium". The Age. 8 February 2008. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
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  10. ^ a b c d e Mayes, Andrea (8 February 2008). "$1.1b sport stadium for Kitchener Park, Subiaco". PerthNow. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
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  12. ^ Sports stadium and museum plans scrapped Archived 8 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2 February 2009
  13. ^ Feds should fund Perth stadium: Barnett Archived 6 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Sydney Morning Herald 8 December 2010
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  15. ^ Premier announces architect and location for major stadium Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Department of Sport and Recreation, Government of Western Australia, 2011, retrieved 2 February 2012.
  16. ^ Courtney Trenwith,Stadium to stand alone as an iconic landmark Archived 10 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. WA Today 16 December 2011
  17. ^ Gareth Parker, Burswood junk raises stadium blowout fears Archived 18 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine., 15 February 2012, retrieved 20 February 2012.
  18. ^ a b Courtney Trenwith, 'AFL will help pay for new WA stadium' Archived 28 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. WA Today 16 August 2011
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  23. ^ Department of Aboriginal Affairs (2016). "Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA): Notice of assessment of Aboriginal heritage places by the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC)" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 March 2017. 
  24. ^ Perpitch, Nicolas; Gartry, Laura (1 April 2015). "Aboriginal heritage test case overturns decision to deregister Port Hedland site". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. 
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  40. ^ a b c Perpitch, Nicolas (19 January 2018). "How to get to Perth Stadium: Train, bus, car or walk — the best options to get there and home". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  41. ^ Freestone, Jamie (2 December 2017). "Perth Stadium Station officially open ahead of ground's first event in January". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  42. ^ "Optus Stadium Transport". Public Transport Authority. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  43. ^ Macdonald, Kim (6 January 2018). "Uber drivers banned from Optus Stadium collection and drop-off". PerthNow. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  44. ^ "Jetty – Optus Stadium". Optus Stadium website. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  45. ^ Acott, Kent (11 November 2017). "Work begins on $5m jetty tipped to ferry footy fans to Perth's Optus Stadium". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  46. ^ "AFL deal made for games to be played at new Perth Stadium". ABC News. 20 October 2017. 
  47. ^ a b c Justin Chadwick (10 February 2018). "Fremantle triumph in front of record crowd against Collingwood". The Age. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
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  49. ^ a b "WACA to shift Test matches to new Perth Stadium at Burswood". WAToday. 3 September 2015. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  50. ^ a b Daniel Brettig (28 January 2018). "Curran's five-for steals thrilling win for England". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 31 January 2018. 
  51. ^ "Final ODI marks start of new era for Perth". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 January 2018. 
  52. ^ "Perth to host State of Origin in 2019". National Rugby League. 15 July 2016. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  53. ^ "Optus Stadium Events Calendar" (PDF). Optus Stadium. 1 February 2018. 
  54. ^ "Perth NRL Double Header". Optus Stadium. Retrieved 3 February 2018. 
  55. ^ "Ed Sheeran ÷ World Tour". Optus Stadium. Retrieved 3 February 2018. 
  56. ^ "Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour". Optus Stadium. Retrieved 3 February 2018. 
  57. ^ "Nitro Circus - Next Level Tour". Optus Stadium. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 
  58. ^ Staff writers (1 February 2018). "Scorchers crushed by the Hurricanes in BBL semi-final". WAtoday. Retrieved 11 February 2018. 
  59. ^ "Optus Stadium Open Day". VenuesWest. Retrieved 14 February 2018. 
  60. ^ "Your guide to Optus Stadium Open Day". WA Today. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Perth Stadium official development website at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 September 2017)
  • Perth Stadium at Austadiums
  • Remediation and Redevelopment of the Swan Portland Cement Site, Burswood, (January, 1998) the Environmental Protection Authority
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