Perth Stadium

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Perth Stadium
Perth Stadium Final Design.jpg
Artist's impression of final design for the new Perth Stadium
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
Capacity 60,000 (Oval)
65,000 (Rectangular)
(With potential to be increased to 70,000)[1]
Surface Grass
Broke ground December 2014
Opened March 2018 (scheduled)
Architect Hassell, HKS, Cox
Fremantle Football Club (AFL) (planned for 2018–)
West Coast Eagles (AFL) (planned for 2018–)
Perth Scorchers (BBL) (planned for 2018–)
Western Force (Super Rugby) (planned for 2018–)
Perth Scorchers (WBBL) (planned for 2018–)

Perth Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium under construction in Perth, Western Australia, located in the suburb of Burswood. On its completion, it will have a capacity of 60,000 people, making it the third-largest stadium in Australia (after the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Stadium Australia).[2] The stadium is being built by a consortium led by Brookfield Multiplex.[3] 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.[4]


Early proposals[edit]

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]

Plans for a new stadium at Subiaco[edit]

Artist's impression of Perth Stadium at Kitchener Park, Subiaco, which was the planned site of the new stadium prior to its move to Burswood

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 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.[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 and rugby.[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]

Proposed stadium site moved to Burswood[edit]

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]

In June 2011, the State Government announced that the new stadium would be built on the northern section of the Burswood Park golf course. It stated that the Burswood site was preferred because it was unconstrained by surrounding developments and had the additional benefit of being government-owned. It would also allow for a special events six-platform Stadium railway station to be built and could be connected to the CBD via a pedestrian bridge across the Swan River to East Perth. A car park will not be built to service the stadium, with visitors expected to either park in the city and walk across the bridge or use public transport.[4][6][14][15]

Stadium features[edit]

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

As with the earlier plans for the new stadium at Kitchener Park, the stadium is intended to seat 60,000 spectators, with potential for this capacity to be extended to 80,000 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.[16] It is expected that this would give it the third-biggest capacity of any stadium in the country.[17]

The dimensions of the stadium will be 165 metres long and 130 metres wide, which is five metres longer than both the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, but 10 metres shorter than Subiaco Oval (175 metres long and 122 metres wide).[16] It will be a multi-purpose facility able to hold not only sporting events such as Australian rules football and major international rugby, cricket and soccer games, but major cultural events such as concerts. It is envisaged that the stadium will be similar to Docklands Stadium, with comparable views, amenities and comfort.[9]

The Government stated that planning for the new stadium at Burswood is due to be completed by mid-2012, with construction commencing in 2014 and scheduled for completion in 2018. It appointed the firm Populous as the project's architectural consultants.[4][6][14]

It has been announced formally that the new stadium will supersede the WACA Ground as Western Australia's primary venue for international cricket, with Test matches against high drawing opponents and limited overs matches against all opponents, as well as Big Bash League (BBL) matches, to be played on drop-in pitches at the new ground from the 2018-19 season.[18]

In July 2016, the stadium was confirmed as the host venue of game two in the 2019 State of Origin series.[19]


The earlier design for Perth Stadium at Kitchener Park in Subiaco 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] Expected construction costs were based on a December 2008 start, with a four-year completion period.

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.[4][6] However, in December 2011 Premier 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.[4] 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)."[20] 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.[4] WA sports and especially football insiders are known to be gearing for even a 2020 launch for the new stadium and a substantial cost overrun of well past $1 billion.[21]

The Australian Football League has agreed to help pay for Perth's new stadium at Burswood, although it has not revealed how much money it will contribute.[17] However, the nearby Crown Perth, which is expected to benefit commercially from the presence of the stadium, has not been asked by the Government to help meet the construction costs.[22]

Environmental impact[edit]

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. The Minister for Racing and Gaming is responsible for the site and the Burswood Peninsula will fall into new City of Perth boundaries created by the Local Council Mergers.

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.[23] 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".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stadium and Sports Precinct design". Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Stadiums, Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ Northover, Ryan (15 April 2014). "Brookfield Multiplex Wins $1 billion Contract to Build New Perth Stadium". WA Property News. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Harvey, Ben (29 June 2011). "Barnett confirms stadium for Burswood". The West Australian. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Major Stadia Taskforce, The Stadium and the City, May 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d e No price tag on Burswood sports stadium Australian Broadcasting Corporation 16 December 2011, retrieved 2 February 2012.
  7. ^ New stadium the right option, Kobelke says 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, retrieved 2 February 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "Media Release: 'New major sports stadium for Western Australia'". Government of Western Australia. 8 February 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Andrea Mayes, $1.1b sport stadium for Kitchener Park, Subiaco, PerthNow, 8 February 2008, retrieved 6 February 2012.
  11. ^ Big State Needed Big Decision For A Big Stadium, Local Media Services Company, 10 February 2008
  12. ^ Sports stadium and museum plans scrapped Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2 February 2009
  13. ^ Feds should fund Perth stadium: Barnett Sydney Morning Herald 8 December 2010
  14. ^ a b Premier announces architect and location for major stadium Department of Sport and Recreation, Government of Western Australia, 2011, retrieved 2 February 2012.
  15. ^ Courtney Trenwith,Stadium to stand alone as an iconic landmark WA Today 16 December 2011
  16. ^ a b Todd Cardy, New stadium could reach 80,000 capacity PerthNow, 7 May 2012, retrieved 7 May 2012.
  17. ^ a b Courtney Trenwith, 'AFL will help pay for new WA stadium' WA Today 16 August 2011
  18. ^ "WACA to shift Test matches to new Perth Stadium at Burswood". WAToday. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "Perth to host State of Origin in 2019". 15 July 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  20. ^ Gareth Parker, Burswood junk raises stadium blowout fears, 15 February 2012, retrieved 20 February 2012.
  21. ^ Kim Hagdorn, 'Big changes at the WACA as Burswood looms as cricket venue', 13 December 2013, retrieved 14 December 2013.
  22. ^ Fran Rimrod, 'Burswood Casino hits the jackpot with new stadium neighbour', 29 June 2011, retrieved 20 February 2012.
  23. ^ Lampathakis, Paul (8 February 2013). "Toxic fears hit Burswood and Crown Casino site". PerthNow. 

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