THE history of Western Australian football, which is over 120 years old, won’t be overlooked when the new Perth Stadium is up and running in early 2018.
WA’s leading football historian, Richard Kreider, is a member of the Perth Stadium Sports Memorabilia Reference Group, assisting in the development and artistic direction of memorabilia opportunities throughout the Stadium.
Whilst there will not be a permanent sports museum at Perth Stadium due to space constraints, there will be a focus on the history of the various sports that can be hosted at the venue, which will be showcased in a variety of formats, including traditional stand-alone pieces, elements included in the fabric of the building or more experiential pieces.
Perth Stadium will be a multi-purpose venue hosting AFL, cricket, rugby league and rugby union, football and entertainment events. It will be the third largest stadium in Australia, with a capacity of 60,000 for AFL games, 55,000 for cricket and a 65,000 capacity when it is ‘rectangularised’ for rugby and soccer.
One of the biggest sporting events in 2018 will be the visit of English Premier League champions Chelsea, who will take on Perth Glory in an international friendly in late July or early August 2018.
It will be Chelsea’s third visit to Perth. They beat the State side 6-1 in 1965 in front of 7,000 at the WACA Ground and downed WA 1-0 in a thriller watched by 15,000 at Perry Lakes Stadium in 1974.
The 1974 WA squad included Football Hall of Fame WA inductees Peter Mitchell, Geoff Cole, David Jones, Denis Barstow, Stephen Sceats, Ray Ilott, John Davidson and Dave O’Callaghan.
Among the 1965 line-up were Rod Reid, Theo Paap, Nine Segon, John Van Oosten (who got WA’s only goal), and Mike Ireson, who are also all Hall of Fame inductees.
Kreider, who is a member of the Hall of Fame committee, said that the $1.2 billion world-class Stadium should attract national and international events to Perth, including big football matches.
“In terms of just football, it will place our city higher up the selection stakes for the really big games,” he said.
Following the massive reaction to the recent Arsenal and Liverpool friendlies over east – and the Argentina-Brazil game that attracted 95,569 to the MCG in June – it augers well for the success of high-profile football at the new Perth venue.
“It’s a well-worn cliché, but Perth’s new stadium really will be a game changer,” continued Kreider, who has written three books on the history of football in WA.
“The stadium is an amazing structure, with a ‘fans-first’ design – 85% of the seating will be covered by a lightweight fabric roof cover,there are two massive screens (340 square metres each) at each end of the ground as well as 1,000 TVs located around the Stadium so fans don’t miss a minute of the on-field action.
“I’m literally sworn to secrecy, but I can tell you there will be a number of areas around the superb venue honouring the champions of sport, and football is obviously included.”
PIC ONE: Richard Kreider checks out the new Stadium. PIC TWO: The impressive Perth Stadium is close to completion. PIC THREE: Argentina superstar Lionel Messi in action against Brazil at the MCG.