WACA to be stripped of blockbuster Tests
Australia’s blockbuster Test matches against India, England, and South Africa will be moved from the WACA Ground to the new Perth Stadium under a new plan.
As recommended by the WACA’s Vision 2030 blueprint, international limited-overs games and Test matches involving South Africa, India, and England will be moved to the new $1.2 billion, 60,000-seat stadium at Burswood, which will be completed by 2018.
The WACA board has already approved the plans, and will now seek funding from the State and Federal Governments.
Big Bash League matches will also be moved from the WACA to Burswood.
The WACA will still host Sheffield Shield matches, as well as Test and one-day internationals not involving South Africa, England, and India.
The WACA, which will be redeveloped into a boutique ground with a capacity between 10,000-15,000 people, also hope to host WAFL matches under its new plan.
The redevelopment is set to cost between $150-200 million.
WACA chief executive Christina Matthews predicts it will take about 10 years to complete all stages of the redevelopment.
Matthews guaranteed the iconic WACA pitches wouldn’t be dug up to accommodate football being played at the ground.
And she said plans would soon be in place to develop a drop-in pitch for the new Perth Stadium that would replicate the unique characteristics of the fast and bouncy WACA wicket.
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland said moving blockbuster matches to the new Perth Stadium would dramatically boost attendances.
“I am very confident that an Ashes Test match at the new Perth Stadium will perhaps see 200,000 people over the course of a five-day Test match, or more,” Sutherland said.
WACA chairman Sam Gannon said redeveloping the WACA into a boutique ground – and moving blockbuster matches to the new Burswood stadium – was critical for the survival of the WACA Ground.
“To do nothing was not an option,” Gannon said.