Iconic WACA Stadium gears up to turn into a 10000-capacity boutique venue
The Western Australia State Government has granted an AUD 30 million fund to restructure the iconic WACA Stadium in Perth into a 10000-capacity boutique venue. Adding more to that, Cricket Australia and WACA will also contribute AUD 4 million and AUD 10 million respectively to help the venue turn into a community and sporting hub.
The WACA ground has been a major attraction for the Test-playing nations since hosting the first red-ball match during the 1970 Ashes series but went into a shadow after a 60000-seater Optus stadium across the Swan River came up recently.
While the one-off Test match between Australia and Afghanistan is scheduled to take place later this year, there have been concerns regarding the hosting of the encounter considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and reworked IPL schedule.
The demolition and construction work is slated to start at the end of the year. Once finished, it will serve a training base for the state side as well as the Perth Scorchers in the BBL and WBBL as well as for state league football side akin to the Junction Oval in Melbourne and the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
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“We are now one step closer to transforming the much-loved WACA ground into a high-quality venue not only for cricket and other sports but entertainment and community events too, which will help energise the east Perth area,” WACA chairman Tuck Waldron said.
“We are committed to raising the remaining AUD 10 million through the WA Cricket Foundation to ensure this development offers incredible experiences and creates long-lasting memories for the WA community into the future.”
Legendary pacer Dennis Lillee, who was the WACA president, quit in 2015 citing he didn’t want the old venue to be considered as the second-rung stadium and go the boutique. Interim CA chief Nick Hockley, however, welcomed the development calling it critically important for the future success of cricket.
“This announcement is a significant moment for cricket in Western Australia and on behalf of Cricket Australia I would like to thank the state government for their support,” he said. “This project is critically important to the future success of WA and Australian cricket, and we thank Premier McGowan, Minster Murray and their state colleagues for their commitment to our sport and for sharing our vision to transform this historic ground.”