Preferred Perth Stadium operator named
The WA Government has chosen Stadium Australia Operations as the preferred operator of the new Perth Stadium with the WAFC missing out.
Stadium Australian Operations, who are the operators of ANZ Stadium in Sydney, beat the likes of Domain Stadium operators Perth Stadium Management, the stadium operating arm of the Western Australian Football Commission.
Premier Colin Barnett said Stadium Australia Operations' proposal offered the best value for money and an operating approach which put fans first.
"The 60,000 seat Perth Stadium will be a world-class venue and it is fitting that a world-class operator is appointed," Mr Barnett said.
The Premier thanked all four short-listed respondents for their detailed submissions.
"Stadium Australia Operations currently operates Stadium Australia (ANZ Stadium) in Sydney, which was built for the 2000 Olympic Games. The 83,500 seat venue has already attracted more than 23.5 million fans to a variety of events, including AFL, rugby union and English Premier League games, plus acts such as AC/DC, the Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift," he said.
"The State looks forward to working with Stadium Australia Operations in the coming weeks to finalise matters ahead of signing the contract."
The operator will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the stadium and sports precinct, including catering, securing event content, event management and ticketing.
Mr Barnett said the Government would ensure that the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) would have a stream of revenue to continue to manage, support and grow local football at the West Australian Football League and community level.
Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said AEG Ogden was also approved as reserve respondent, in the event the State Government could not conclude negotiations with Stadium Australia Operations.
"This decision is the result of 12 months of work since the Government first called for Expressions of Interest," Ms Davies said.
"A detailed brief was prepared which was responded to by the shortlisted applicants over almost three months, culminating in a three-month review and evaluation by a panel of senior Government officials – supported by a range of independent technical advisors.
"Ultimately the team determined that Stadium Australia Operations' bid represented the best value for money. A key feature of the bid was the depth and breadth of proposed events to be held at Perth Stadium and the strategies to secure them."
WAFC Chairman Murray McHenry said the decision was a major blow.
"We are deeply disappointed about this decision and believe that football and its major international partners have the experience, skills and imagination to operate Perth Stadium on behalf of all West Australians," McHenry said.
"We are now deeply concerned about the future financial model for WA football because stadium operations have been critical to the development and success of the game.
"At all times during the development of Perth Stadium the state government has reassured football that the sport will be no worse off as a result of the new venue. We now need the government to show how this will be the case in order to safeguard the future of our game.
"We need the state government to progress discussions on how to preserve football's financial future as the sport now has no certainty for its future.
"We will immediately start re-assessing how to sustain the ongoing growth and development of football and its various operations like Auskick, community football, WAFL, female football, indigenous and multicultural programs.
"This decision also presents us with a range of concerns about the potential user agreements for our two AFL clubs at Perth Stadium and whether they will generate sufficient returns to sustain football in Western Australia."
AFL football is set to move from Domain Stadium to the new Perth Stadium at the start of 2018 premiership season although construction is currently ahead of schedule and it is possible that the stadium could be ready to host finals in 2017.
The WAFC administration is also currently housed at Domain Stadium along with the West Coast Eagles.
The Eagles are planning to move to a new purpose-built administration and training base at Lathlain Park with construction of that facility is currently in the planning phase.