10 Big Events In The WACA's Assorted History
17 May 2017  

The Western Australian Cricket Association has evolved a long way since its berth in 1885, hosting a variety of events from cricket and Australian Rules football to trotting, baseball and demonstration flights.

The WACA has taken a brief look back in time over some of the top events held on the hallowed turf.


The WACA is born at a meeting chaired by JCH James at the United Service Hotel where delegates from the Metropolitan, City Temperance, Perth and Union cricket clubs unanimously resolved "to form a Cricketing Association subject to the Municipal Council letting an adequate portion of the Recreation Ground for the exclusive right of playing thereon by such Association.”

A fortnight later the Council agreed, granting a three-year lease of a portion of the New Recreation Ground (now Elizabeth Quay). The WACA was born and JCH James was the Association’s first President.

It wasn’t until four years later, in 1889, that the WACA would get its own dedicated ground.


The Western Australian Football League Grand Final to be played at the WACA Ground was held. The Western Australian Football Association, which was later renamed the WAFL, had been played since 1885.

In the 1906 Grand Final at the WACA, East Fremantle 12.3 (75) defeated West Perth 5.6 (36).

The Grand Final was shared around the Subiaco Oval, WACA Perth Oval and Fremantle Oval for the following 20 years until the former became the permanent home in 1926, except for 1934 and 1935.


The Western Australian Trotting Association negotiated a five-year lease of a trotting track on the perimeter of the WACA Ground.

This would extend to 1929 when trotting moved to Brennan Park (now Gloucester Park). Australia’s first complete meeting under lights was held at the WACA Ground on 24 January 1914.


In the midst of the Great Depression, Sir Donald Bradman played at the WACA Ground for the first time.

He played again in 1932 and that match attracted a crowd of 42,917. He also played at the WACA Ground in 1938, 1940 and finally in 1948.


The first Claxton Shield Baseball Carnival to be played in Perth was held in August with matches at the WACA Ground and Subiaco Oval.


The new WACA scoreboard is built to replace the scoreboard damaged by a storm in 1948. This new scoreboard is dedicated as the "Memorial Scoreboard” in honour of the cricketers from WA who gave their lives in the cause of freedom in two world wars 1914-18 and 1939-45.

The scoreboard remains operational to this day, one of only two manual scoreboards in the country.


The new Test Stand (now Inverarity Stand) was erected at the WACA Ground, assisted largely by public and member subscription.

The first ever men’s Test match to be played in Perth was played at the WACA Ground 11-16 December when Australia played England. This is England’s first Test match in Perth played at the WACA Ground.

The match went over six days and finished as a draw. The fourth day, a Monday, was a rest day.


The six light towers, still standing to this day, are installed at the WACA Ground. 

To celebrate the event a Festival of Sport is held 10-11 October when WA played Victoria in a McDonald's Cup fixture and Australia played Ireland in a Gaelic football match. Both matches were played under lights.


The AFL finals were played at the WACA Ground for the first time, with Subiaco Oval being re-developed.

In September the West Coast Eagles defeated Collingwood by two points in the Qualifying Final and then defeated Melbourne in the Preliminary Final by 65 points in front of a ground record 34,317.

The Eagles went on to lift the AFL Premiership beating Geelong in the Grand Final at the MCG.


A ground record of 103,440 people watch Australia (244 & 5/527 dec) regain the Ashes in the third Test match at the WACA Ground from 14-18 December 2006, defeating England (215 & 350) by 206 runs. 

Local hero Adam Gilchrist hit a memorable century off 57 balls, then the second fastest in Test history. A Test record WACA crowd of 24,175 spectators attend day one.