WACA Board Members Mark Calverley, Michael Veletta, Darren Wates, Peter Silinger, Avril Fahey, Kade Harvey and Hon Dr Ken Michael AC
On Tuesday 7 March members of the WACA Board and Executive Leadership Team undertook a tour of Perth Stadium. For some Board Members this was their first glimpse inside the monumental structure. For others, including myself, it was our second or third visit and an opportunity to reflect on the amazing progress that has been made.
When I first visited the stadium in late 2015, only a ‘slice’ of the tiered concrete cake was in place and the first roof support pole was just being erected. At the time of our recent visit, the tiered coliseum was complete, the majority of the seats are now installed, and the roof structure largely complete. We also got a glimpse of the first of the two gigantic TV screens, which will be some of the largest in Australia.
We were taken through the various levels of what will comprise the WACA Members’ enclosure, behind the bowler’s arm at the northern end, and also the Perth Scorchers Members’ enclosure behind the bowler’s arm on the southern side of the ground. Although the interior fit-outs were not yet complete, we got a true appreciation of the various vantage points that will be available for viewing cricket. Our Members will have the best seats in the house, with the opportunity to watch from ground level or up high, in comfortable large seats with ample shade. No matter where you sit, it will only be a short walk to the nearest food and beverage outlet or restroom.
In short, the Members’ enclosure will be the place to watch cricket. The steep tiering engulfing the more open terraced areas that will house the premium seating options and the players’ viewing areas, will create a cauldron like atmosphere of support for our Australian and Western Australian cricket teams.
The stadium also has large function room areas and spaces on several levels that can be used for a variety of match day purposes, such as corporate hospitality and promotional events. On Level four there are grand open terraces overlooking the river, where Members will be able to gather pre, during and post-match, to chat about the game while enjoying a drink and something to eat.
At basement level, we observed the semi-finished areas that will comprise the changing rooms for our elite teams, the amazing warm-up spaces, including practice nets and hit-up areas, and the alcoves for the various coaching and support staff that are a requirement for modern day elite sport. It is fair to say the designers have thought about everything that may be needed for match day.
The tour concluded with a visit to the centre of the arena, where concrete tray laneways were in place, ready to house the drop-in cricket pitches. Although the surface was still dirt, with work to be done on levels and soil, we are told it won’t be too long before lush green grass is laid.
Standing in the centre of the ground looking up and around the arena was something to truly behold, even for a group of administrators in high-vis wear. I can only imagine the shivers that will run down the spines of our elite cricketers when they stand in that position, ready take to battle in front of a stadium full of passionate WACA supporters.
Written by Darren Wates