AFL: Arena Joondalup pre-season Fremantle-West Coast clash a West Perth windfall

Lachie Neale takes possession in the last derby clash held at Arena Joondalup. Picture: Getty Images
Lachie Neale takes possession in the last derby clash held at Arena Joondalup. Picture: Getty Images

WEST Perth is to reap the financial rewards from its new facility almost immediately after securing the Fremantle-West Coast pre-season AFL clash at Arena Joondalup.

The clash will be the first major event held at the multi-million dollar redevelopment and is expected to earn the club tens of thousands of dollars on the eve of the WAFL season.

The Falcons are expecting a crowd of about 15,000 to the March 11 contest given it is being held on a Sunday and is the final game of the pre-season.

It will be the first time the club can receive full matchday takings, such as bar and food earnings, since moving to Joondalup.

The club previously worked out of shared facilities run by the State Government’s Venues West, which took the majority of game day earnings.

Chief executive David Crute said it would be an “interesting challenge” to put the “new building through its paces”.

“The potential to make money over the bar and exposing the facility to a wide audience is a fantastic opportunity,” he said.

“It’s one of the reasons the AFL contributed $300,000 to the facility.

“They see Arena Joondalup as a major venue to expose AFL footy to the new arrivals to Australia who live in the northern corridor.”

The last time the club hosted a pre-season derby in 2014, it attracted about 10,000 fans, but that match was held on a weekday afternoon when it was a struggle for spectators to arrive after work.

For 2018, the club is expecting one of the biggest crowds it has ever hosted at the venue.

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