Perth’s Optus Stadium will host its first A-League match, with the Grand Final to be played at the 60,000-capacity venue on Sunday.
Perth Glory will face Sydney FC in the 2018/19 season decider on Sunday afternoon after the Glory defeated Adelaide United in a thriller on Friday evening. The match at HBF Park was attended by 17,868 fans – Glory’s largest crowd at the venue since its redevelopment.
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While having the showpiece game at Perth’s largest stadium will allow up to an additional 40,000 fans to attend, Perth Glory boss Tony Sage slammed FFA’s decision to play it there, saying it was a cash grab and would cost his side a home ground advantage. Sage did however say playing it at Optus is good for the sport.
It’ll be the first time Perth Glory has hosted a Grand Final in the A-League era, having previously hosted it in the old NSL at Subiaco Oval.
It’s exactly what the league needs, having endured a largely lacklustre season with some poor crowds and TV numbers. A crowd of over 50,000 is expected. As of Tuesday night, 42,000 tickets had already been snapped up.
Sunday’s game won’t clash with any AFL action, perfect weather is expected, and Sage has urged families to take advantage of family-friendly ticket prices.
Meanwhile, Sage has confirmed the club also held talks with the venue to help avoid a repeat of issues that flared up with the active support at Perth’s pre-season match against Chelsea.
During the first half of that match, a large portion of active support members left the stadium after drums were confiscated and complaints were made by spectators nearby about their chanting.
“This year the drums and all that will be allowed this game,” Sage confirmed.
“We’ve had meetings already and we’ve just told them, the active area is the active area.”
Sunday’s A-League Grand Final between Perth Glory and Sydney FC commences at 4:30pm AWST (6:30pm AEST).