Stadium drives rise in visitors reports The West Australian

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We were thrilled to see the statistics in last week’s The West Australian that reveal the impact Optus Stadium has had on the local economy since it officially opened twelve months ago.

Designed by Hassell, Cox and HKS, Optus Stadium has contributed to an increase in the number of regional, interstate and international tourists visiting WA as well as providing West Australians with a vastly improved entertainment experience.

According to projected figures outlines in the article, the state is on track to cover the cost of the stadium in just over 10 years.

Good news indeed. Read on to find out more.

Stadium Drives Rise in Visitors

By Kent Acott

The West Australian, Wednesday October 3, 2018

Football – and Perth’s Optus Stadium – has been credited with one of the biggest jumps in interstate visitors to WA in recent years.

Figures to be released today show WA hosted 1.477 million interstate visitors in 2017-18 up 11.8 per cent – the biggest growth rate in four years – compared with the previous 12 months. This included 388,000 people who came to WA specifically for a holiday – up 7.5 per cent. Visitors also spent more, with a total spend of $1.523 billion for the year, an increase of 4.7 per cent. But they stayed for less time, with total visitor nights falling 14.1 per cent to 10.4 million.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the figures showed ‘positive signs’.

Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the jump could be attributed to events at Optus Stadium, especially AFL matches. Until the end of June, there were 14 AFL matches involving West Coast and Fremantle at the stadium.

In an opinion piece in today’s The West Australian, Mr Hall said these matches probably secured about 20,000 additional visitors to WA. Over a full season, this was expected to grow to more than 35,000 visitors. Mr Hall said, based on the council’s 2014 estimate that 38,000 AFL visitors would generate $117 million for the local economy, WA could cover the cost of the stadium in just over 10 years.

‘The stadium is a genuine example of what can be achieved when government and industry work together on a well-developed strategy to drive tourism to WA,’ he said. ‘The then-State Government made the right decisions to invest in the stadium and ensure it was designed to achieve clear objectives.’

‘The first objective was to give more West Australians a better experience at more events. The second objective was to build an economic asset that would attract more out-of-State visitors, tourism dollars and jobs to WA.’

Mr Hall said that each AFL match, 6000 seats were set aside for general admission and another 1000 seats for tourism packages. This has allowed tens of thousands of regional West Australians and international visitors to visit Perth and experience an AFL match. In the 14 games, the Eagles and Dockers played eight Melbourne opponents, two from Adelaide, two from Brisbane and one from Sydney (one game was a derby).

The tourism figures show a 22,000 lift in Victorian visitors, a 31,000 jump in South Australian tourists, a 30,000 boost in Queensland visitors and a 23,000 rise in NSW visitors.

Shadow tourism minister Libby Mettam said there was no doubt the stadium was a driver for interstate tourism. But she said it did raise concern about the McGowan Government’s decision to sell the naming rights of the stadium.