Big potential for Western Sydney Stadium

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With five months to go until the official opening of Western Sydney Stadium, Parramatta Eels legend Peter Sterling has recalled what it was like playing for the club prior to the opening of the old Parramatta stadium in 1986.

“I remember (then) Cumberland Oval at our first training session there was barbed wire around the top of the wooden fence,” Sterling said.

“There was a shonky wooden grandstand there, no grass coverage. We fought long and hard for the previous stadium so you look back now and see where we’ve come from and what we’re going to-it’s fantastic.”

Aerial view of the opening of Parramatta Stadium on March 18, 1986, prior to the Parramatta versus St George game. Picture: Ian Mainsbridge

Fantastic has become the buzz word for Western Sydney Stadium.

Just last month, Eels chief executive Bernie Gurr called the venue “an absolute game-changer in Australian sport.”

“There is no question in my mind that this stadium will be the absolute best game day experience.”

Western Sydney Stadium taking shape in October 2018. Picture: Nearmap

It’s a testament that Sterling completely agrees with.

“There will not be a better atmosphere than the new stadium,” he said.

“I had a couple of seasons in England and we talk about the atmosphere (over there) because the crowd is right on, almost over the playing surface and I expect the same here.

“It’s going to be a real experience to go and watch games there and if we can have a successful football team then it’s going to be the best ticket in town.”

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