Crowds flock to Arena Joondalup for West Perth WAFL matches

West Perth’s international round clash with Subiaco attracted the biggest WAFL home and away crowd in five years.Picture: Dan White
West Perth’s international round clash with Subiaco attracted the biggest WAFL home and away crowd in five years.Picture: Dan White

ARENA Joondalup remains the most visited ground in the WAFL, with West Perth pulling the biggest crowds for a fourth consecutive year.

An aggregate of 26,270 fans watched West Perth home games during the home and away season to give an average of 2627 per match.

East Fremantle was close behind with a mean of 2447 a game, boosted by 5200 attendees to their televised season opener at Subiaco Oval and the hosting of two derbies against South Fremantle.

The Falcons attracted the biggest WAFL crowd in five years outside of finals when 7849 people watched their international round clash with Subiaco in June.

West Perth’s average attendance from 10 home games is 30 per cent higher than the competition average.

Club president Brett Raponi said it demonstrated the side’s engagement with the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup.

“We work our community and the media hard to promote the game and our club,” he said. “This is an outstanding result and the result of 21 years hard work.

“Other contributing factors to our success is that we foster, promote and play local talent.

“This week we host East Perth in a derby preliminary final and we expect 6000 to attend. This will see our home ground aggregate attendance push through the 30,000 barrier this season.”

Falcons spectators nearly doubled the number of the competition’s least-watched team in Claremont, which recorded just 14,519 fans through the Claremont Showground gates in 2015.

The Tigers had the lowest attendance for a second straight year.

And while Peel’s AFL affiliation with Fremantle has been controversial, the club’s stronger performances appear to have boosted game day interest.

The Thunder recorded the WAFL’s smallest crowds in 2012 and ’13 but that changed when the club became the Dockers’ reserves base in the past two seasons. Peel’s 1776 average this year grew from 1744 in 2014 and is nearly 24 per cent higher than it was in 2012.