Western Australia pours funds into ME Bank stadium project

The State Government of Western Australia has made a major funding commitment to the redevelopment of the ME Bank Stadium in Perth.

The State Government of Western Australia has made a major funding commitment to the redevelopment of the ME Bank Stadium in Perth.

Treasurer Colin Barnett pledged around US$68.5 million towards the construction of a new grandstand in the state budget, dependent on the state government and local authorities in Vincent - where the stadium is based - agreeing terms on the future ownership of the venue. The project will increase the seating capacity from 18,000 to 25,000, while other upgrades will include improved lighting, a new electronic scoreboard, two new video replay screens, a new pitch with undersoil drainage and increased CCTV surveillance. The stadium, originally known as the Perth Oval, is home to A-League soccer club Perth Glory and the rugby union team Western Force.

State Minister for Sport and Recreation Terry Waldron said: "There is no question that a rectangular stadium provides the best viewing experience for sports such as soccer, rugby union and league. We look forward to many successful seasons on and off the field for the Perth Glory, the Western Force, and perhaps even a league team."

Nick Catania, the mayor of Vincent, said: "ME Bank Stadium is Perth’s premier venue for soccer and rugby and the redevelopment will ensure that these codes have a home ground to be proud of. We have also continued to work closely with the Perth Glory management team to make sure that ME Bank Stadium remains the home of soccer in WA and improvements are made to help the club increase its member and fan base by making the stadium more spectator-friendly."

Perth Glory owner Tony Sage congratulated the state government and Minister Waldron for their efforts in securing funding, adding: "The redevelopment can only assist Perth Glory fulfilling its objective to be the best club in the Hyundai A-League and in Asia."

Construction is expected to begin in 2012.