|Location||Perth, Western Australia|
|Opened||10 November 2012|
|Construction cost||A$548.7 million|
|Architect||Ashton Raggatt McDougall, Cameron Chisholm Nicol|
|Capacity||Basketball / netball: 14,846
Full capacity: 15,500
|Perth Wildcats (NBL) (2012–)
Hopman Cup (2012/13–)
West Coast Fever (ANZ Championship) (2013–)
Perth Arena is an entertainment and sporting arena in the city centre of Perth, Western Australia. It is located on Wellington Street near the site of the former Perth Entertainment Centre, and was officially opened on 10 November 2012. The Perth Arena is the first stage of the Perth City Link, a 13.5 hectare major urban renewal and redevelopment project which involves the sinking of the Fremantle railway line to link the Perth central business district directly with Northbridge.
The Perth Arena was jointly designed by architectural firms Ashton Raggatt McDougall and Cameron Chisholm Nicol. With its design based on the Eternity puzzle, the venue will hold up to 13,910 spectators for tennis events, 14,846 for basketball (the arena's capacity is capped at 13,000 for National Basketball League regular season games) and a maximum of 15,500 for concerts. The venue has a retractable roof, 36 luxury appointed corporate suites, a 680-bay underground car park, 5 dedicated function spaces, and touring trucks can drive directly onto the arena floor.
Perth Arena is owned by VenuesWest (which operates Challenge Stadium, WA Basketball Centre, Arena Joondalup and others) on behalf of the WA Government and is managed by AEG Ogden - the Australasian arm of AEG Worldwide.
The inaugural General Manager of Perth Arena was David Humphreys, former General Manager of the Perth Entertainment Centre and Allphones Arena in Sydney. Humphreys died two months before the venue's opening. AEG Ogden announced Steve Hevern as the interim General Manager on 3 October 2012.
The tender for the project was won by Western Australian construction consortium BGC, and work commenced on the site in June 2007.
The construction was marred by controversy in relation to the cost and time blowouts from the original $150 million estimate to $550 million. Auditor General Colin Murphy reported in 2010 that "The initial estimates of the cost and opening date for the Arena were unrealistic and made before the project was well understood or defined." An example of the modifications to the original Arena design is the change of the carpark location from being built above the nearby railway line as a separate project to underneath the Arena itself.
Besides sporting events, Perth Arena can be configured to hold many other events, particularly major concerts. On 10 November 2012, Elton John performed at the official opening of the Arena as part of his 40th Anniversary of the Rocket Man tour. Originally, George Michael was to be the opening act but cancelled due to health concerns. Before the first music event, the arena hosted a free test concert called "Plug into Perth" on 2 November featuring WA artists Drapht, Sugar Army and Split Seconds. Matchbox Twenty and Nickelback also performed at the arena in its opening week.
Since the arena opened, many big name acts have performed at Perth Arena: Jennifer Lopez, Kiss, Neil Young, Black Sabbath, P!nk, Rihanna, One Direction, Beyoncé, Muse, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, and Bon Jovi. As of November 9, 2013, Beyonce, with just two consecutive shows as part of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, has overtaken P!nk's attendance record for the most attended concert at the arena. P!nk previously held the arena's attendance record performing to 14,800 people over 4 consecutive shows on her Truth About Love Tour, she remains the highest selling artist at Perth Arena.
The Perth Arena hosted its first National Basketball League game on 16 November 2012 when the Perth Wildcats played (and lost to) the Adelaide 36ers in front of a crowd of 11,562. The attendance was the largest ever recorded in Western Australia, breaking the previous record of 8,501 set at the Burswood Dome in 2004. The arena has since hosted larger crowds, the current record of 13,527 set at game two of the 2013 grand final.
Game 1 of the 2014 NBL Grand Final series between the Wildcats and the Adelaide 36ers on 7 April 2014 drew 13,251 to the Perth Arena. The Wildcats won the game 92-85. With Adelaide winning Game 2 89-84 played in front of 7,690 at the Adelaide Arena, the Perth Arena will host the third and deciding game of the series on Sunday 13 April. Tickets went on sale for the deciding Game 3 only 30 minutes after the finish of the game in Adelaide, and with the normally closed off upper section of the venue being open for the game, a sellout crowd of 13,498 saw the Wildcats defeat Adelaide 93-59 to claim their sixth NBL championship. The game was sold out within 2 hours of tickets going on sale.
With a capacity of 14,846, Perth Arena is the largest venue currently in use in the NBL (2013–14). It is also the third largest ever behind the Allphones Arena in Sydney (18,000) and the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne (15,000).
On 27 April 2013, the ANZ Championship netball played its first ever game at the Perth Arena when the West Coast Fever hosted the Melbourne Vixens, with the visiting Vixens running out 58-49 winners. The ANZ Championship will return to the venue on 12 May 2014 when the Fever host the NSW Swifts.
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- Bernard Tomic scores his biggest win, beating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Hopman Cup tennis | thetelegraph.com.au
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