THE WA Government recently released formal plans for the stadium to be built in Burswood and it appears that the planners of this stadium are taking the ‘if you build it, they will come’ approach.
This line, from the movie Field of Dreams, suggests that the Barnett State Government just wants a stadium built that will easily host AFL and cricket matches.
However, the reality is that fans of rectangular field sports, such as soccer and rugby, will continue to have the same poor sightlines that the Subiaco stadium offers.
It is surprising that the new Burswood stadium will not have retractable seating, similar to Melbourne’s Docklands stadium that makes watching rectangular field sport more appealing. I made the mistake of attending the Wallabies versus Springboks match at Subiaco last year and could hardly see the action.
Viewing soccer or rugby matches at the Docklands arena is a much more pleasant experience compared to the Subiaco stadium.
The first tier of seats can be brought forward to enable seating close to the action and, naturally, justify the cost of higher category seating.
The Burswood stadium’s measurements, announced on May 7, indicate that its dimensions will be smaller than Subiaco’s in a nod towards housing rectangular sports more effectively.
However, there will still be significant space between the edge of the field and the first row of grandstand seating.
Is this move just a token gesture?
It remains to be seen if the WA Government will spend the extra money to build retractable seating, which will attract top-level sporting events to Perth and fans to the stadium.
Only time will tell if the ‘if you build it, they will come’ analogy will turn out to be true.