Final designs revealed for $64m WACA upgrade
The WACA Ground will be transformed into a 10,000-capacity boutique stadium, with final designs revealed for the $64 million redevelopment.
The project will transform the iconic East Perth venue into a community, sporting and tourist hub, while football will make its return to the ground.
A revitalisation of the traditional home of cricket in Western Australia has been on the cards since all international cricket and BBL moved to the new 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium in 2018. Since then, the venue has been restricted to hosting occasional state games.
As part of the facelift, the WACA’s 20,000 capacity will be halved, while the oval will be lengthened to once again allow Australian football to be played at the ground, with WAFL games set to make their return.
The three-level Prindiville Stand and the Inverarity Stand next to it will be demolished to make way for a new central pavilion containing new food and beverage outlets and spectator amenities, a 10-lane indoor cricket and multi-sport facility, an open-air 50m pool and water slides, a multi-purpose function centre with an outside deck overlooking the ground, a community health club, and an auditorium with multi-purpose meeting rooms.
There will also be dedicated high-performance facilities for elite players, including a gym, change rooms and recovery facilities, a museum honouring the venue’s rich history.
The current Lillee-Marsh Stand, players' pavilion and south west pavilion will be retained, as will the six iconic light towers, which will be upgraded to improve lighting of the ground.
The redeveloped venue will have a permanent capacity of 10,000, able to be boosted to 15,000 with the use of temporary seating.
Works are expected to start in July, with completion of the project scheduled for 2024.
The project received $30 million funding commitments from both the Australian and Western Australian governments, $11 million from the Western Australian Cricket Association, plus a $4 million contribution from Cricket Australia.
The ground hasn’t hosted a WAFL fixture since the 1994 qualifying final between East Fremantle and West Perth. East Perth called the venue home for a couple of seasons in the late 1980s, while the West Coast Eagles played regular home night games at the WACA until lights were constructed at Subiaco Oval in 1997.
WA Cricket Association chief executive Christina Matthews is adamant the WACA’s international cricket days aren’t over, with hopes to lure smaller Test nations like Bangladesh or Afghanistan over to face Australia.
“We intend in the future to host Test matches, but against developing nations so the capacity of 15,000 is about right for what we want to do,” Matthews said.