WAFL: West Perth’s Arena Joondalup revamp marks new era

West Perth chief executive David Crute with director Rob Jackson. Picture: J Bianchini
West Perth chief executive David Crute with director Rob Jackson. Picture: J Bianchini

WEST Perth match days will enter a new era at Arena Joondalup, with the club’s revamped WAFL headquarters to promote fan engagement like never before.

The pre-game experience, in particular, is to step-up considerably.

A warm-up room that looks out to a viewing deck on the perimeter of the oval has been designed to allow spectators to watch the players’ preparations and listen to coach Bill Monaghan’s motivational chatter.

Monaghan will be mic’d up for maximum effect.

The players will then surge into the arena via a new players race, which runs from the warm-up room (pictured).

The players race (foreground), viewing deck and warm-up room. All photos taken mid October.

To say the Falcons are excited about their multi-million dollar redevelopment would be understatement.

Chief executive David Crute gave the Times an exclusive tour of the building, which is due to begin housing staff soon.

The structure is separate from their former home, connecting to it via a fly bridge from the south.

“This is a quantum leap forward for us, we’ve never had club rooms since West Perth moved to Joondalup,” he said.

“The grandstand stays the same so this is just new admin, footy and commercial space down stairs.

“Our old change rooms become the visitors rooms and during the week they’ll be used by our female teams and colts.”

The view from inside the new member’s clubroom.

The centrepiece of the redevelopment is the expansive second-floor members’ clubroom.

The social space is curved to follow the boundary line, meaning punters can view the action from anywhere on the floor.

Crute said the club planned to allow non-members to accompany members into the room but only for a limited number of games.

After that, they would need to buy a “social membership”, which would be cheaper than a full membership.

Members will access the ground on match day via a card tap point through the repositioned Les Fong Gates.

Other features include a small lecture theatre for player briefings as well as a kitchen, recreation area and gym.

In a cheeky dig at a WAFL rival, Crute claimed the building had 50 per cent more football facilities than Claremont’s new home at Claremont Oval.

The Falcons, who will take all earnings from their headquarters, are to hire function rooms to the public.

The State Government will officially open the premises as well as the Joondalup Wolves’ basketball stadium this Saturday.

But West Perth won’t be holding its own launch until early next year for the Falcons’ first pre-season game.

The Fremantle-West Coast AFL pre-season clash in March stands as the venue’s first big test with an expected 15,000-strong crowd.

The player briefing room. Picture: J Bianchini
Stairs from the foyer up to the club rooms. Picture: J Bianchini
The all-important trophy cabinet.

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