Perth Stadium ahead of schedule
The new Perth Stadium at Burswood is ahead of schedule and is a chance to host the Ashes Test in late 2017.
With all major cricket matches set to be moved from the WACA to the new venue, development of the $1.4 billion 60,000-capacity stadium is months ahead of schedule and the Ashes Test may be the first event held there. A decision will be made by the end of 2016.
The new stadium was originally expected to open in time for the 2018 AFL season with both the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers relocating there from Subiaco. However the West Australian reported this week that construction is currently four months ahead of schedule with grandstands on the western side already reaching the third tier.
Moving the Test match against England from the 20,000 WACA Ground to the 60,000 Perth Stadium would be a huge boost to tourism in Perth.
Once the new venue opens, the WACA will be developed into a boutique venue with a capacity of 10-15,000 hosting smaller matches and also WAFL games.
Meanwhile, planning for the drop-in cricket wickets at the new stadium is well underway with a prototype pitch currently being prepared at Gloucester Park, the home of harness racing in Perth, located next door to the WACA. It has been soaking up the sun for six weeks and will be tested under match conditions in February next year.
Perth Stadium project director Ronnie Hurst said the quality of the wicket at Burswood was of paramount importance, with Perth remaining a pace-bowling paradise when the new stadium opens in 2018.