Subi always WA footy’s spiritual home, says mayor

Subi always WA footy’s spiritual home, says mayor

THE final season of AFL at Subiaco is the end of a “significant chapter” for WA’s home of football but the WA Football Commission (WAFC) is likely to remain at the venue, according to its chief executive.

WAFC’s 99-year lease with the City of Subiaco ends in 2090 and the commission is working with the State Government and the City to draft a master plan for the Subiaco Oval Precinct.

While AFL’s move to Perth Stadium has not been finalised, WAFC will be losing revenue from the loss of rent, sponsorship and supply rights from food and beverage once AFL games depart Subiaco oval.

WAFC chief executive Gavin Taylor said generations of football fans formed “lifelong memories” while supporting their WAFL or AFL team and attending major events.

“The experience for many people over the years has not only been about the events, but the close friendships and sense of community that has been formed,” he said.

“Some people have been sitting in the same seats for more than 20 years and developed lasting friendships.”

Mr Taylor said the preservation of the heritage gates and the oval’s playing surface were priorities.

Mr Taylor said the WAFC was considering other long-term housing options for its 80 staff members.

“The West Coast Eagles’ facilities have been identified as a potential future housing option for the WAFC and a base for grassroots development activities such as the State Academies, umpire and coach development, female, multicultural, and indigenous programs,” he said.

“A significant amount of work has been done with the WA Cricket Association (WACA) on a proposed co-location at the WACA ground.

“This still presents an option for a future home for the WAFC but remains subject to State Government funding.”

The WAFC and the City are undertaking a project in honouring the history of Subiaco Oval through photos, videos and written submissions.

Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson said the council felt optimistic about the future of Subiaco and was aiming to achieve the best community outcome.

“Subiaco is recognised as the spiritual home of football in Western Australia and has been a vital and historic icon in the community,” she said. “Its importance in the development of the game is unparalleled.”

The West Coast Eagles declined to comment.

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