The future vision of the WACA Ground has been announced, with a $75 million plan to transform it into a boutique multi-sport venue.
With the opening of the 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium, all major cricket events have moved to the state-of-the-art venue, with little more than state matches remaining at the traditional ground which is in major need of an upgrade.
The WACA Ground will be transformed into a boutique sporting venue that retains its ICC Accreditation as an International Cricket Venue and complements Optus Stadium with a permanent capacity of around 10,000 and the ability to boost it to 15,000 with the use of temporary grandstands.
The Inverarity and Prindiville stands will be demolished to make way for one central structure and pavilion on the northern end of the ground, while the Lillee-Marsh Stand, Players’ Pavilion and South West Pavilion will be retained until an opportunity to utilise that land as part of the activation of the East Perth precinct is agreed upon or for its remaining useful life.
Re-ovalisation will allow AFL to once again be played at the venue, with WAFL matches likely to be played at the ground, while it could also serve as a training ground for international teams playing major games at Optus Stadium, given its close proximity to the new venue.
A new high-performance centre would include a 10-lane indoor cricket facility as well as public café and gym. The development also includes a piazza that will provide the community with a multi-purpose venue to host year-round events.
The current museum will be replaced with a reinvigorated and modern museum that honours the Ground’s rich heritage and will secure the WACA Ground as a must-see tourist destination.
Also in the plans is an upgrade of the sports lighting and the retention of the historic scoreboard.
WACA Chief Executive Christina Matthews said the Project is well overdue.
“It’s no secret that the WACA Ground has fallen behind the standard of other major cricket and sporting venues in Australia,” she said.
“We have an incredible opportunity to provide Perth with a modern boutique cricket venue, as well as a building a community destination were everyone can enjoy the benefits.
“Imagine watching a concert in the middle of the iconic WACA Ground, or going to the gym and seeing Meg Lanning or Mitch Marsh working out.
“There were a number of unknowns when we looked at improvements to the WACA Ground in previous years. We now have more certainty on the future, we know what cricket content will remain here and we know what community facilities we can offer.”
The project has been costed at $75 million, with the Association seeking a $60m funding contribution from the State and Federal Government to realise its vision. $4m has already been agreed from Cricket Australia while $10m funding from the WA Cricket Foundation is currently in progress.
Almost 50 days of cricket will be played at the WACA Ground next season, including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup while major Men’s matches will be held at Optus Stadium.