The new Perth Stadium has been designed to allow easy modification of the venue to 70,000 seats.
As the venue nears 80% completion, Austadiums interviewed Ron Alexander, the Director General of the Department of Sports and Recreation and Co-Chair of the Perth Stadium Standing Committee.
Alexander said that the venue is easily upgraded to hold 70,000 people if demand justifies the increase in capacity.
“One of the many features of the Stadium’s design is its ability to increase the seating capacity from 60,000 to 70,000 within the existing structure if required. This can be achieved by adding seats across all levels of the stadium”.
The venue’s drop in seats have been under much scrutiny by rectangular sports fans, Alexander mentioned that the first row around the venue can be raised 1.5 m to install the drop in seats.
“The front row of seating (in oval mode) is raised approximately 1.5m from ground level, which allows the drop in seats to be added and positioned on all four sides of the playing surface, providing an exceptional viewing experience for fans in rectangular mode. The drop in seats replicate the quality and viewing angles of the permanent seats. A 12 hour turnaround time is all that is required to install and/or remove the drop in seats”.
Alexander said a benchmarking exercise was necessary to ensure the venue was internationally competitive and offered the best in stadium design.
“The Perth Stadium Project Team undertook a year of planning (starting in mid-2011), which involved a benchmarking investigation of stadia both domestically and internationally, including MetLife stadium, the Dallas Cowboys and Yankee Stadiums in addition to all the major stadia across Australia.
Following the year-long planning stage, key project management plans were put in place.
“The Project Definition Plan was then established comprising a Master Plan, a two-staged procurement strategy, a time program to deliver the Stadium by the target date, a cost plan, and a governance structure for the design and construct phase as well as the operating phase.“
While the State Government is hoping to host the Ashes at the new stadium in December 2017, Austadiums understands that there have been delays in the construction of the Swan River Pedestrian bridge which has increased the doubt of hosting the much-anticipated Test. The bridge was forecasted to transfer up to 14,000 patrons into the stadium site from East Perth and had a timeline of completion by mid-2017.
By Chris Egan