South Perth MLA John McGrath believes the State Government’s decision to build the new 60,000 seat major sports stadium on the Burswood Peninsula will create a world-class facility to be enjoyed by all West Australians.
“The stadium will cater for not only major sports events but other things such as big ticket concerts that would otherwise be quickly sold out at a smaller venue,” he said.
“And I envisage that the precinct around the stadium will also be transformed into a magnificent public open space for people to recreate and enjoy the parkland.”
Mr McGrath said he believed the stadium would have a positive spin off for restaurants and bars in and around Victoria Park and South Perth.
“I do not believe that all football fans would head straight to the Burswood Casino after games,” he said. “I think they will disperse in all directions.
“Football fans are creatures of habit. They meet their friends at the same venue before going off to the game or have a regular meeting place after a game.
“Of course, some will choose to go to Burswood but a lot will end up in other popular entertainment areas in and around Perth.”
Mr McGrath said he had been involved by the Premier and Sports Minister Terry Waldron in discussions with a wide range of stakeholders in football and local Government leading up to last Monday’s decision by Cabinet to put the new stadium at Burswood.
“I hope to have a role in the planning for the stadium, which is expected to take a couple of years,” he said.
Mr McGrath, a former Sports Editor of The West Australian, first floated the idea of Burswood in a speech to Parliament in May last year. In it, he urged Premier Colin Barnett to consider Burswood rather than a re-build of the historic Subiaco Oval.
“A rebuild of Subiaco Oval or a new stadium on the Kitchener Oval site would have been difficult to achieve with the constraints of existing residential development,” he said today. “During the construction phase there also would have been an impact on crowd numbers at AFL home matches hosted by West Coast and Fremantle.”