The WACA - Downfall

Masked Magician

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What was the reason as to why the WACA stopped hosting AFL games for FREO and WCE?

Was it simply because of the capacity? Its max was early 30,000's, some 10,000 less than subiaco, although if kept surely it could house games when freo play an interstate team, as FREO AVE around 35,000's over last couple of years, im sure when it plays a gold coast GWS it could be used.

Can anyone find any articles or media on this?

From 1987 to 2000, the ground was used by the West Coast Eagles, and from 1995 by the Fremantle Dockers, both Perth-based AFL teams. 72 AFL matches were held at the ground during this time. From 1995 to 1997 the WACA also served as the home ground for the Western Reds rugby league team. In the late 1990s the ground played host to the Perth Heat in the former Australian Baseball League (1989-1999).
However, for various reasons these sports moved away from the WACA (in the case of night football, to Subiaco Oval), and as a consequence the WACA was again redeveloped in 2002. The capacity of the ground was reduced to around 20,000 and the dimensions of the playing arena were also decreased by a total of 31 metres at the eastern and western boundaries, meaning Australian rules football could no longer be played at the ground. From time to time, temporary stands are used to boosts the ground's capacity to 24,500.

Why was it solely moved due to night football?
 

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Admiral Byng

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#2
Main reason: WACA Members.

WACA members got their usual allocation of seats for all events, be it footy, cricket, baseball, concerts or whatever. They had around 10,000 or so member to accommodate, leaving only 20,000 or so seats for AFL members, and seats of the worst quality at that. Plus there were issues and argy-bargy over access for training.

These days the WACA has been redeveloped and the playing surface is much smaller. For footy the goals axis ran across the ground, from the square leg boundary to the cover boundary, at 90 degrees to the orientation of the wicket. Since the last redevelopment the square boundaries were taken in about 10-15m each side to build the grass banks. It's now a fairly awkward shape to mark out for footy.

 

Admiral Byng

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#4
Was it simply because of the capacity? Its max was early 30,000's, some 10,000 less than subiaco, although if kept surely it could house games when freo play an interstate team, as FREO AVE around 35,000's over last couple of years, im sure when it plays a gold coast GWS it could be used.
Oh by the way - Fremantle play an interstate team 10 games out of 11. It wont make such a big difference if its Geelong or Gold Coast or Adelaide, the crowd will still turn up. There is always some variance, but it won't be anything like 15,000 fewer people turning up if we are playing Gold Coast or Western Sydney to make it worthwhile shifting to a smaller venue, those matches would still get 30,000.
 

Masked Magician

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Haha, interstate, okay, I was meant to say low drawing interstate, GWS, Gold coast, Western bulldogs.

Fremantle last year VS port western bulldogs GWS were 30,000 X2 and 28,000 respectively

Thats 2 or 3 games that, if not for the redevelopment, the WACA could have housed
 

Rob

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#6
What was the reason as to why the WACA stopped hosting AFL games for FREO and WCE?

Was it simply because of the capacity? Its max was early 30,000's, some 10,000 less than subiaco, although if kept surely it could house games when freo play an interstate team, as FREO AVE around 35,000's over last couple of years, im sure when it plays a gold coast GWS it could be used.
Dude, we have 38,000 reserved seat holders. Take the WACA members out and it had what, 20,000 seats? It's not even close. Which 18,000 members do you want to deny entry to?

The WACA stopped being used partly because of capacity, but partly because it was an even worse venue than Subiaco. Just a horrible, horrible place to watch footy. And cricket for that matter. It's just a **** stadium.
 

Admiral Byng

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Haha, interstate, okay, I was meant to say low drawing interstate, GWS, Gold coast, Western bulldogs.

Fremantle last year VS port western bulldogs GWS were 30,000 X2 and 28,000 respectively

Thats 2 or 3 games that, if not for the redevelopment, the WACA could have housed
I can't see the point. As a club you'd want to play all your home games on the same ground, especially one with unique dimensions like Subiaco, for which we can develop a game plan. it doesn't really matter if the stadium is only 3/4 full.

But there's all this other stuff to take into consideration: Playing at the WACA means renting the ground off them. Plus they get to keep all the food and beverage takings. Plus the best 8,000 seats in the stadium go to WACA members. Plus they probably retain the rights for the corporate boxes. There's more to it than match the number of spectators to the number of seats available.
 

Admiral Byng

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#10
I think you are looking at it from the wrong direction.

Long story, but in the early days the WA clubs had to be flexible with scheduling their home games. They had to avoid playing on a Saturday afternoon, so they played mostly Sunday afternoon or Friday night. At the time no football ground in Perth had lights, the only place with lights was the WACA. They couldn't build lights at Subiaco immediately so they signed a short fixed-term deal with the WACA to play the night matches there. It was always a temporary thing though, until such time as Subiaco got its own lights. Once they did it was accepted that AFL footy would never return to the WACA.
 

Rob

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#11
Well Good on you mate, i posted this for information not to illustrate how ****/good Freo are with crowds
TBH i'm not sure what your point is. The WACA has too small a capacity, it's inferior to Subiaco in every facet (which is quite an achievement given how dead ordinary Subiaco is) - why would they play any games at the WACA? Even if you move a Freo v GWS game there (assuming it was at it's old capacity) you'd have to tell nearly 20,000 members that they can't show up because there aren't enough seats.
 

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#12
In a parallel universe where the WACA had as many available seats as Subiaco and was comparable in terms of viewing experience and suitability for football all AFL games would still be played at Subiaco Oval because one venue is controlled by the WAFC and one isn't.

By the same token, sold out Ashes tests in Perth are played at the WACA despite a larger stadium being available. The main reason: one venue is controlled by the WACA and one isn't.
 

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So football was played at the WACA only because it has lights and Subiaco did not?
Pretty much how I recall it. They were desperate to protect the WAFL in the early days, so WAFL played on Saturday afternoons only and AFL teams played home games in any other time-slot to avoid a clash, which means playing at night. Every now and again the AFL would schedule a Saturday games as a one-off and all the old codgers would ring talk-back radio to whinge about the VFL trying to ruin WA football.
 

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#15
So football was played at the WACA only because it has lights and Subiaco did not?
That's exactly the reason.

I remember reading in Dennis Cometti's book that he was on the committee set up to decide whether lights at the WACA were viable just before the Eagles came in. Essentially they found that the VFL didn't give a rats ass where or when they played as long as the licence fee came in on time, and cricket would only use the lights once or twice a year. Consequently they were going to recommend no lights at the WACA. Just before they officially reported back, they were told the decision had been made by the government and it no longer mattered what they thought.
 
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#17
So football was played at the WACA only because it has lights and Subiaco did not?
wasn't their some objection originally, buy the local residents & council when it was first proposed that subiaco was to get lights?, with the oval being based out in the suburbs,
 
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#18
I read a article recently that ( about a month ago in the West or sunday paper) that the WAFL may return to playing WAFL games at the WACA ...... in a deal with Fox or channel 7 or channel 9 (?).

Actually i can't remember who it was with :D.

May work on a friday night with people walking down from the city.
 

The_Reaper

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#19
I read a article recently that ( about a month ago in the West or sunday paper) that the WAFL may return to playing WAFL games at the WACA ...... in a deal with Fox or channel 7 or channel 9 (?).

Actually i can't remember who it was with :D.

May work on a friday night with people walking down from the city.
I think it was for Saturday games with either Channel 7 or Channel 9 telecasting one WAFL match a round.
 

Admiral Byng

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#21
It's not about the fans. The ABC are moving away from covering various state leagues to focus on national female sports - cricket, soccer, basketball etc. They don't want to do the WAFL any more. The WAFL are desperate to retain some exposure on FTA TV. Channel 9 already have broadcast facilities set up at the WACA because of their cricket commitments, they want to move one game each week to the WACA, so they can televise it using their existing equipment. Not having to invest in new mobile facilities that they need to cart around and set up at a new venue each week.
 
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#22
It's not about the fans. The ABC are moving away from covering various state leagues to focus on national female sports - cricket, soccer, basketball etc. They don't want to do the WAFL any more. The WAFL are desperate to retain some exposure on FTA TV. Channel 9 already have broadcast facilities set up at the WACA because of their cricket commitments, they want to move one game each week to the WACA, so they can televise it using their existing equipment. Not having to invest in new mobile facilities that they need to cart around and set up at a new venue each week.
Yes, it is all coming back now, i would have thought the ABC was obligated from a community POV to keep on televising the WAFL as well as exploring other sports to televise.
 

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wasn't their some objection originally, buy the local residents & council when it was first proposed that subiaco was to get lights?, with the oval being based out in the suburbs,
Locals complaining about lights seem to be a common theme at grounds. AAMI Stadium had a ROYAL COMMISSION to see whether they should have lights!
 

Papa G

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#24
Was a redevolped WACA, along the same lines as the Adelaide Oval, ever a viable option for a new Perth Stadium? It's close to the city, but what is transport/ parking like? It never seemed to come up as a viable option, just wondering the reasons?
 

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#25
I am amazed nobody has mentioned just how woeful the WACA was to watch football! The sight lines were shocking plus dead pockets where seating was no good (old members area). Just a terrible venue to watch football at. It may be better since the re-development, but having worked there for two years, I highly doubt it.
 
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