THE NEW Perth Stadium took a major step closer to completion last month when the WA government announced it had entered negotiations with Stadium Australia Operations as the preferred operator for the venue.
Construction on the brand new 60,000-seat stadium at Burswood is well under way and is on schedule to be completed ahead of the start of the 2018 AFL season.
A pictorial timeline of the stadium's development follows. All photographs and information are courtesy of Perth Stadium.
In 2003 the WA government commissioned a review into the future of sports stadiums in Perth. Domain Stadium (Subiaco Oval) and the WACA had hosted both AFL games in Perth but football had not been played at the WACA since 2000. The taskforce recommended that neither venue be redeveloped. Instead the taskforce's final report, published in 2007, recommended a new 60,000-seat be built at either Kitchener Park in Subiaco, adjacent to Domain Stadium, or at the East Perth power station. But a new state government was elected in 2009 led by Premier Colin Barnett. In June 2011 the government announced the new stadium would be built on the northern section of the Burswood Park golf course.
Premier Colin Barnett and former sport and recreation minister Terry Waldron officially launched pre-construction works in June 2013. The compaction and drainage works were completed by March 2014, six weeks ahead of schedule in preparation for construction to begin in December 2014.
The foundations of the ground began to take shape in 2015. The playing surface is set to be 165m long and 130m wide. The dimensions of the ground closely resemble the MCG (which is 160m long and 141m wide). Domain Stadium is 175m long and 122m wide.
The stadium was 28 per cent complete by September 2015 with Premier Colin Barnett telling AFL.com.au that it was possible that the AFL could stage a final at the venue by the end of the 2017 season if the venue was completed ahead of schedule.
The stadium has been designed as a uniform bowl that will have three major tiers. The design is to maximise the atmosphere inside the arena. There is the capability to increase the capacity by 10,000 in the future within the existing structure design.
Stadium Australia Operations, the operators of ANZ Stadium in Sydney, was announced as the preferred operator for the venue, with the contract to be finalised over the next couple of months. The construction is 36 per cent complete.
The venue will have a lightweight fabric roof that will cover 85 per cent of the 60,000 seats. The roof will be illuminated in the home team's colours during AFL games using LED lighting. Fremantle and West Coast will have dedicated change rooms. The Dockers' rooms will be located on the north-west side of the venue while the Eagles' rooms will be situated on the north-east side.
The precinct around the new stadium will feature an amphitheatre, two playgrounds, picnic areas and a boardwalk. The venue will have a six-platform stadium train station and a pedestrian bridge across the river connecting the eastern end of the city with the stadium precinct.
The Swan River pedestrian bridge is a new structure being built to give pedestrian access from East Perth to the new stadium. The bridge's early construction has begun with foundations expected to be in place by mid-2016. The bridge is expected to be open in 2017. It will be 370m long and nine metres wide. The central structural arch will rise 65m above the river. An estimated 14,000 people are expected to use the bridge on match days.