WACA boutique sporting venue ambitious plans



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Australia WACA Ground update March 2021 Image: WACA Ground Improvement Project

The Western Australia Cricket Association’s (WACA) vision to create a sustainable community and sporting hub with cricket as the crux will be realized through the WACA Ground Improvement Project (WGIP).

‘WACA’ stated that the project will transform the ground into a boutique sporting venue that maintains the International Cricket Council (ICC) accreditation as an international cricket venue and complements the 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium in Perth, with a permanent capacity of circa 10,000. The project will also allow the ground to be employed for multisport and community use.

The 24,500-capacity WACA is a sports stadium in Perth, Western Australia. The stadium’s name derives from the initials of its owners and operators, the Western Australian Cricket Association.

The design will reflect and incorporate the proud heritage and history of the WACA Ground.

The reinvigorated museum will honor the rich cricket, sporting and entertainment history of the Ground and pay ode to the traditional owners of the land on which it sits.

‘WACA’ further stated that the WACA Ground Improvement Project will see the Inverarity and Prindiville stands removed and in lieu of it will come up one central structure and pavilion on the Northern end of the Ground. The Lillee-Marsh Stand, Players’ Pavilion and South West Pavilion will be retained for its remaining useful life.

The WACA is confident that the WACA Ground Improvement Project will have significant and wide-reaching benefits and will ensure that the WACA Ground will continue to prosper and service the needs of the cricket and the wider community into the future.

The development, including the inclusion of a community aquatic center, is part of a $1.5 billion Perth City Deal arrived at by the Federal and State Governments and the City of Perth.
 

WACA Ground Improvement Project features:

  • Ten-lane indoor cricket and multisport facility;
  • New, central pavilion with food and beverage outlets;
  • A multipurpose function center with outside deck and seating overlooking the WACA Ground;
  • High performance facilities dedicated to elite players, including gym, changing rooms and recovery facilities;
  • A community health club;
  • A public café;
  • Auditorium and multipurpose meeting rooms that will be available for community use;
  • Lengthening of the oval to fit in Australian Rules Football fixtures and other sports;
  • A museum that pays rich tribute to the rich history of the Ground;
  • A reduced capacity Ground with new shade solutions;
  • Community sports medicine and rehabilitation center;
  • Provision of new office amenities for WACA staff;
  • Sensory room;
  • All abilities playground (TBC);
  • Childcare facility (TBC);
  • Aquatic facilities, including a 50m pool, learn to swim pool and water leisure slides (TBC); and
  • There will be limited parking at the WACA Ground.

 

Funding

The price tag of the WACA Ground Improvement Project has been pegged at approximately $75 million.

The WACA has secured $30 million from the Federal Government, $30 million from the State Government and $4 million from Cricket Australia (governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia). The WA Cricket Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the WACA, is committed to raising $11 million to support the Project.
 

Project status

The WACA Board has recently validated the schematic design stage for the Project which has been completed. The Project Working Group and Steering Committee, set up by WACA to govern the Project, will continue to lead the Project as it enters Stage Three which involves final design detail and procurement.
 

Concept design

The concept design stage included further architectural design, explored land tenure options, completed a needs and demand analysis, completed public consultation, and further feasibility.
 

Schematic design

The schematic design stage took the concept designs to full schematic design, included further project development, identified commercial opportunities and appointed the Project Manager and Planning Consultants.
 

Detailed design and procurement

This stage will develop a detailed design, determine the procurement method, seek development approvals to enable a public tender process and appoint contractors to commence works. As regards the aquatic facility, decision will be taken by the City of Perth.
 

Aquatic facility funding

The WACA has been clear from the beginning with all parties of the three non-negotiable below relating to the aquatic facility:

  • The City of Perth must agree to fully fund the capital cost of the aquatic facility;
  • The City of Perth must agree to fully fund the annual operational costs for the aquatic facilities (aquatic facilities to be cost-neutral for WACA); and
  • The City of Perth must agree to allow for provision for a sinking fund for the aquatic facility, being an amount of approximately 1.5-2.5 percent of the original construction cost.

 
The WACA is supportive of the opportunity to partner with the City of Perth to provide a much-needed community amenity at its legendary Ground. However, the WACA will not be responsible for any capital, ongoing or maintenance costs relating to the aquatic facility.
 

Construction initiation

Development approval for the demolition of the Inverarity and Prindiville Stands were lodged with Development WA in December 2020.

Development WA is the State Government’s central development agency operating across Western Australia with a diverse portfolio of industrial, commercial and residential projects. It operates under the Western Australian Land Authority, Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and Hope Valley-Wattleup Redevelopment legislation.

Once the WACA receives the go-ahead for the demolition of these stands, it is intended that the early works will commence before the start of the 2021-22 seasons.

The schematic design stage was completed on March 16th, 2021 and it is intended that the design and plans be submitted to Development WA on March 31st, 2021.

Construction is scheduled to commence towards the end of 2021 with anticipated completion in early 2024. The WACA Ground will continue to stage matches during the construction phase, with works impacting the field of play to be conducted in the off-season (e.g., upgrading of the Ground to an oval shape).
 

Members’ Reserve

The Members’ Reserve will not be impacted by the WGIP as construction is on the Northern side of the WACA Ground. Members will continue to have exclusive access to the Lillee Marsh Stand, the air-conditioned comfort of the Boundary Room and Long Bar and seating in front of the Players pavilion.

The Southwest Pavilion next to the Lillee Marsh Stand will be upgraded with food and beverage facilities and will leave fans spoilt for choice.

Both the East and West grass banks will be available to both Member and the public during the construction stage.
 

WGIP membership

The WGIP will enhance WACA membership and create a sustainable community and sporting hub, creating a year-round destination for all members and the community.
 

Sporting fixtures

The oval works to the WACA Ground will enable Australian Rules football and other sports to be played at the WACA Ground. Presently, WACA Membership provides for entry to cricket matchups played at the WACA Ground and at Optus Stadium.

Access to other sporting matches at the WACA Ground will be considered and determined in due course of time. The WACA Ground will maintain its ICC accreditation and will be able to host all non-tier 1 touring nations.
 

Capacity

The WACA Ground will be reduced to a 10,000-capacity venue with an event overlay capacity of 15,000.
 

Land ownership

The Western Australian Cricket Association Limited owns all the WACA Ground land freehold.

There is no sale of land as part of the WGIP and the WACA will retain all land ownership.

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