FFA CEO David Gallop says Perth’s impressive new stadium – currently under construction – could host the Caltex Socceroos and other big football matches, helping boost the city and WA’s brand globally.
This 60,000 seater, multi-use venue is set to open in 2018 with what is promised to be a “fans-first” approach to design and technology.
And David Gallop, in Perth for the Caltex Socceroos’ win over Iraq on Thursday night, likes what he sees.
“It’s wonderful to see the new stadium take shape. It’s going to be world-class,” he told reporters.
“We’ve heard today that the turf will be the same quality as nib [stadium, home of Perth Glory].
“One of the reasons we’re back in Perth 12 months after we played Bangladesh here is because of the quality of the surface.
“Ange [Postecoglou] has been vocal about wanting his team to play on quality pitches. To have that at the new stadium will be important for us.
“There will be opportunity for Socceroos matches, Matildas matches and Perth Glory would be looking to use this stadium for big games as well.
“It’s undeniable that football is the sport that can showcase Perth to the world and therefore we expect to be a significant hirer of this stadium in years to come.”
What the world game can do, more than any other sport, is shine a global spotlight on Perth through games at this stadium.
These games could be big internationals, club matches or high profile friendlies, bringing tourists as well as global recognition.
“We would certainly advocate for football because it will put a spotlight on Perth and on a world class stadium that’s perhaps many other sports can’t deliver,” Gallop said.
“We’ve certainly been active in promoting the idea that an opening match involving the Socceroos would be a huge showcase for this construction.”
Speaking about the Hyundai A-League, which kicks off on October 7, Gallop said anyone could win the league, making for compelling viewing.
“Talking to the ten [A-League] coaches last week in Sydney, we’ve got the factor that all Australian sporting competitions need which is any team can win on any day.
“I think we’re going to see a close competition, we’re going to see the skill level go up a notch which has been part of the growth of the A-league over the 11 seasons that we have had.
“We’ve got a new head of the A-League who comes from a serious corporate background and certainly his priorities are to make sure the competition runs smoothly but to help our clubs grow our commercial revenue and the league itself.”