Liberals fight for Stadium name change to put Perth in spotlight

Feb 8, 2021 | Plan, Sport & Rec, State News, WA Labor

Zak Kirkup and the Liberals are calling for Western Australia’s award-winning sports stadium to be renamed Perth Stadium, to give our capital city the international exposure it deserves. 

“Selling off the naming rights to the stadium built for West Australians, by West Australians came at a significant cost to our city and state,” WA Liberal leader Zak Kirkup said. 

“Every time the media cover an event at the stadium, or it is mentioned by a sports commentator, we miss a great opportunity to promote Perth and Western Australia to interstate and international audiences. 

“That is why we are fighting to unwind this mistake. 

“Perth’s stadium is renowned as the best in the world – it has won international awards – and we all love seeing our favourite team play there, so let’s call it Perth Stadium and showcase it to the rest of Australia and the world. 

“Major sporting events at the stadium are beamed world-wide, attracting millions of viewers, which is the perfect platform to lure visitors to Western Australia. The best way to do that is by renaming the stadium Perth Stadium.” 

“It makes sense for tourism, it makes sense for sport, it makes sense for local jobs, it makes sense for Western Australia. We need to get more visitors to WA from interstate and overseas when it is safe to do so. 

Mr Kirkup said a Liberal Government would work with Optus to negotiate terms to end their naming rights contract. 

“Labor have not released the financial details of this contract, so there’s a lot we don’t know,” Mr Kirkup said. 

“The media have reported the contract could be worth as much as $5 million a year. 

“We know when the decision was made it was very controversial because the tourism marketing value to Western Australia was far more than this. 

“Labor said at the time it had to sell the naming rights because of the financial circumstances of the state, but that was before the GST fix and before the massive windfall they are now receiving from runaway iron ore revenue. 

“Labor have no excuse not to name it Perth Stadium now when they are sitting on a $2.1 billion surplus. If they could rip up the Roe 8 and 9 contracts worth hundreds of millions, they can sort this issue out now.” 

Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation Peter Collier said the Liberals’ plan for Western Australian sport also included a $20 million commitment to the development of the State Tennis Centre at Burswood. 

“The ageing State Tennis Centre is well overdue for an upgrade so that it can continue meeting the needs of more than 65,000 registered tennis players and associated development programs in Western Australia,” Mr Collier said. 

“The existing State Tennis Centre is home to Perth’s National Academy for emerging elite players and the Tennis West Academy for elite juniors. 

“It has served the tennis community well for the past 25 years however it is now desperately in need of redevelopment. 

“WA is currently unable to host new international women’s events as we lack the compliant courts and facilities. There is also a lack of both outdoor and indoor courts, and inappropriate spectator facilities for big events.” 

The scope of the State Tennis Centre redevelopment would include 16 new ITF compliant hard courts, four covered courts, refurbished administration facilities, a gymnasium and change room upgrade, court lighting, and new spectator and player facilities. 

The proposal also includes the establishment of a Clay Court Centre of Excellence in Mount Claremont. 

Mr Collier said the Liberals were also committing to a significant increase to the Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF). 

“There has been a significant reduction in this fund during this term of government and there is strong support for an increase from community sporting organisations across the state,” Mr Collier said. 

“The Liberals will invest $20 million per annum to the CRSFF, which will increase Labor’s investment in this fund from 2019 to 2020 by more than $7 million. 

“This will ensure the CSRFF can fund more facilities to help community clubs attract new members and encourage more people to lead healthy, active lifestyles.” 

The Liberals’ Sport and Recreation plan also includes $7.4 million for Netball WA to deliver the Shooting Stars program and employ three full-time regional membership coordinators, and $2 million for an additional two indoor basketball courts at the Bendat Basketball Centre. 

This is in addition to the government’s $130 million sports facilities package, which the Liberals have committed to match.