WAFC won’t block AFL games at new stadium

The West Australian Football Commission will not stand in the way of AFL games being played at the new Perth Stadium, downplaying previous suggestions they may be kept at the ageing Subiaco ground.

WAFC commissioner Murray McHenry said comments from Perth Stadium Management, warning they would attempt to hold AFL games at Subiaco’s Domain Stadium after losing the bid for the new facility, were misread.

“We’re not dummy spitting – let me make that very clear. That’s the last thing we’re doing,” Mr McHenry told 6PR radio on Tuesday.

“We make statements and it has been misread or taken in a particular way that is not correct.”

Perth Stadium Management, comprising the WAFC, Live Nation, Ticketmaster and Delaware North, issued a statement on Monday saying it was committed to hosting AFL games at Domain Stadium in the 2018 season – when the new stadium is scheduled to open.

“Despite the state’s decision, we are committed to running Domain Stadium at the highest level and hosting AFL, entertainment and other major content at the venue into 2018 and beyond,” the statement said.

Mr McHenry conceded the statement was “perhaps” poorly worded, clarifying WAFC would not try to compete with Perth Stadium for AFL games in 2018.

“There is no question that AFL clubs will play at the new stadium,” he told reporters.

But Mr McHenry did not rule out competing for other entertainment events to continue to raise revenue for WAFC while Domain Stadium was still able to operate.

He said WAFC was working with the state government on how to generate enough revenue to support and develop football in WA.

“We’re not looking for a handout from government,” he said.

“Football would generate significant revenue at the stadium and football would share in that revenue along with the state.

“The money that the WAFC derives from that outcome supports some 200,000 people across WA every weekend playing Aussie Rules.”

The WA government named Stadium Australia Operations, which already operates Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, as the future operators of the new 60,000-seat stadium on Monday.

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