West Australians were promised the new Perth Stadium would radically change their sport-watching experience, with a world-class venue capable of attracting major events.
Lavish promises were made, things like “the 60,000 seat venue would not have a bad seat” and it would deliver an “unparalleled” fan-first experience.
So now the long-awaited venue is open and West Australians are flocking to it, how does the stadium stack up against what we were promised?
The seats: “Cup holders are included in every seat and seats themselves will be a minimum of 50 centimetres wide, maximising comfort for fans.” — Perth Stadium promotional document.
The reality: The seats are indeed far more comfortable and spacious than Perth sporting fans have been used to at Subiaco Oval, with extra width and leg room.
The public was promised there would be no bad seats and, while the vast majority of spots offer excellent vantage points, it did not take long for locations with less-than-ideal sight-lines to emerge on social media — with some heavily restricted views thanks to metal bars.
The highly-touted cup-holders have also left some unimpressed. Their design, attached to the seat in front, means you can expect to lose plenty of your beer just from the spectator ahead of you sitting down or standing up.
The reality: The wait to use the bathroom at the new venue appears to be nowhere near as long as it often was at Subiaco Oval, with a huge increase in the number of toilets.
The impact: “(It will) put Perth on the national and international tourism map, helping attract visitors and major events to our city.” — former premier Colin Barnett, August 2015.
The reality: It is far too early to judge the stadium’s economic or tourism impact, but a long list of major events have already been secured.
The stadium will host a Bledisloe Cup Test and a State of Origin match in 2019, while Premier League giants Chelsea will head to Perth later this year.
The venue will also play a key role in the Twenty20 World Cup in late 2020 and is likely to be front and centre of any Australian bid for future major sporting events.
The cost: “I am confident the $700 million figure, in today’s terms, is about it.” — former premier Colin Barnett, July 2011.
The reality: Mr Barnett initially insisted that figure was a reasonable estimate for the cost of the stadium itself, with an additional $300 million for required public transport infrastructure.
But the actual cost proved to be much higher, with the contract to design, build, finance and maintain the stadium worth $1.21 billion.
With more than $350 million in transport infrastructure thrown in, the whole project has cost taxpayers around $1.6 billion.
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