WACA redevelopment finally set to go ahead

Australia hosted England at the WACA in an Ashes Test in December 2017.
Australia hosted England at the WACA in an Ashes Test in December 2017.

The WACA Ground redevelopment will finally go ahead after the federal government contributed $30 million to the project.

The iconic WACA is set to be transformed into a multi-sport boutique venue featuring a permanent capacity of 10,000, with the ability to increase it to 15,000 for certain events.

The WACA revealed details of its $75m redevelopment plan in March, but it needed huge government support at both federal and state level for it to go ahead.

The contribution from Canberra will allow the WACA to proceed with the early stages of the redevelopment.

Cricket Australia has contributed $4m and the WACA hopes to raise another $10m from the WA Cricket Foundation.

The WACA hopes the rest of the money will come via the WA state government, who have expressed a willingness to put forward a sum now that the federal government has committed to the project.

The WACA has endured numerous false starts in its redevelopment plans over the past 12 years.

The most ambitious was the $250m redevelopment plan that would have included two 17-storey apartment blocks and a shopping district.

The arrival of the 60,000-seat Optus Stadium means the WACA will no longer host high-drawing cricket matches such as most Tests, ODIs and T20s, as well as BBL fixtures.

But the WACA will still play an important role in hosting Sheffield Shield matches, women's cricket, and low-drawing internationals.

The venue also hopes to attract Australian Rules WAFL fixtures.

If Optus Stadium misses out on hosting one of the four Tests against India next summer, Australia will play Afghanistan at the WACA Ground.

The SCG and MCG are already locked in to host one of the Tests against India, and Adelaide is also expected to host one.

It means Optus Stadium and the Gabba will fight for the remaining Test.

"I'd like to play India on both the Gabba and (Optus Stadium) actually because of the extra pace and bounce," Australia coach Justin Langer said.

"Whenever we go to India, we always play on spinning wickets. I'd love to play (in both Perth and Brisbane), but I also understand that you can't fit five into four. It's a bit like selection - you can't fit 12 into 11."

Australian Associated Press