THE announcement that Stadium Australia Operations was the preferred operator of the new Perth Stadium has drawn mixed responses.
The company runs Stadium Australia in Sydney and was chosen because its proposal provided the best value for money and a fan-first operating approach, according to Premier Colin Barnett.
The State Government will sign off on the partnership in the coming weeks.
But West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) chairman Murray McHenry said he feared for the future of football in WA.
The WAFC was a member of the Perth Stadium Management consortium which also bid to run the stadium.
“At all times during the development of Perth Stadium the State Government has reassured football that the sport will be no worse off as a result of the new venue,” Mr McHenry said.
“We now need the government to show how this will be the case in order to safeguard the future of our game.
“We need the State Government to progress discussions on how to preserve football’s financial future as the sport now has no certainty for its future.”
AEG Ogden was the reserve option. It will be considered if the State Government could not finalise a deal with Stadium Australia Operations.
Mr Barnett said the government would ensure the WAFC received funding to continue to manage and grow football at the West Australian Football League and community level.
Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall welcomed the announcement.
He said it had the potential to bring international acts that might have otherwise skipped Perth.
“We need an operator that can bring in the big acts like Coldplay, entertainment spectaculars like the Edinburgh Tattoo and international sporting events like Premier League soccer, international rugby and major league baseball,” he said.
“The best stadium operator is the one that brings the best events to the venue, not an operator that favours a particular sporting code.”
The operator will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the stadium and sports precinct, including catering, securing event content, event management and ticketing.