Perth’s new 15,500-seat indoor arena will finally open its doors in November this year following years of delays and cost blowouts.
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett announced last week the opening date for the new venue and said the operator, AEG Ogden, had started work at the Arena in preparation for the opening weekend.
Mr Barnett said the Arena would reach practical completion in August, as promised, and would then be followed by a three-month commissioning period.
It will be worth the wait though, with the new arena set to be world-class facility hosting Basketball, Tennis and major concerts. The venue features a retractable roof than can open or close in just over seven minutes.
The project was originally announced in 2005 with a total cost of $160 million and due for completion in 2009. The total cost of the project is now at $548.7 million, after the State Government reached agreement with the builder over contractual claims related to its design. Treasurer Christian Porter has previously said late design changes by the Labor Government added to the cost and time delays.
“While it cost more than it should have, I’m confident the arena will prove to be a wonderful venue for all West Australians to enjoy," the Premier said.
Project manager Guy Mander said tradesmen would be working overtime to meet the August deadline but was confident there wouldn't be any delays.
"It will be tight, there's no doubt about that. But we're very confident that we will make an August completion," Mr Mander said.
"There is quite a bit to do but don't be fooled by the fact that there's scaffolding around. Work is happening very quickly."
The annual Hopman Cup will be staged at Perth Arena, moving from the Burswood Entertainment Complex, while the Perth Wildcats will move their home base from Challenge Stadium to the new arena. The new facility replaces the Perth Entertainment Centre which closes its doors in 2002.