PERTH’S new sports stadium will cost more than $862 million to build, and more than half of it will be funded by the taxpayer.
The final cost for the five-tiered facility was revealed as Premier Colin Barnett and Sports Minister Terry Waldron unveiled the official design, reports PerthNow News.
Mr Barnett said “all issues” relating to the stadium had been resolved and that the contract with Brookfield’s WestStadium would be signed within days.
He also said the total cost had come in $40 million under budget.
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The new stadium is expected to cost $820.7m to build. $81.7m has been set aside for a sports precinct, and $16 million has been allocated for project management.
The Premier said 60 per cent of the stadium would be funded by the taxpayer during the construction stage with the remainder (40 per cent) to be funded through a 25-year finance package with the construction company.
Mr Waldron estimated the total cost of the 25 year contract would be $1.13 billion, which included maintenance and interest costs, calculated in today’s dollar rate.
Mr Barnett said this represented a good deal for the state and dismissed suggestions it might burden future governments.
However he did admit he did not expect revenue from the stadium to pay the overall bill, and that when you factor in interest it would cost more.
“I don’t know if all of revenue will pay all of the costs, the state government expects to pay for this stadium both through the construction and through the financing package,” he said.
“That’s the reality of stadiums all around the world – they are taxpayer funded. However this stadium will be so good that I have no doubt that all major sporting events will be held in this stadium. The biggest attendance, of course, will be over the course of the AFL season.
“The state is only having to find 60 percent of the cost at construction stage. The remaining 40 per cent is financed over that 25 year period. It’s exactly the same as a mortgage on a house, yes you pay capital and yes you pay interest.
“What this does is that today’s community is bearing most of the cost of the new stadium but 40 per cent will be paid for over 25 years of operations. That’s an appropriate way to fund a stadium.”
“But at the end of the day the taxpayer, the state government will fund the cost of the stadium.”
The new Perth Stadium will feature roof coverage to more than 85 per cent of its seats, a bronze facade that reflects WA’s geology, LED lights that show home sports team colours, and a wide range of ‘fans first’ facilities including two of the largest video screens in the country.
There will be over 1000 TV screens, 600 bike racks, two giant screens, 70 food and beverage outlets as well as 1500 toilets.
There would be cup holders in every seat.
The design of the sporting and recreation precinct which will surround parts of the stadium will feature Dreamtime stories and will have three distinct recreational spaces.
The western section of the precinct will be house an amphitheatre, two children’s playgrounds, picnic areas and a boardwalk while the community sporting oval to the north will be available for public use on non-event days, as well as providing event-day parking.
Mr Barnett said he was confident the new Perth Stadium would be used by all sporting codes despite discussions still taking place.
“I think internal rugby 2020 cricket, a test match maybe and certainly AFL,” he said. “And of course concerts and other public events. Any code will use the best stadium. And I think you have seen cricket and others acknowledging that.”
PREMIER Colin Barnett is dazzling taxpayers with pretty pictures to distract them from the real cost of the new Perth Stadium, Opposition spokesman Ken Travers says.
In unveiling the design of the stadium today, Mr Barnett said the government would finance the project like a mortgage to relieve the burden on the state’s current community by having future sporting fans contribute to the cost.
Sixty per cent of the project will be paid for up front with the remaining amount, including maintenance costs, financed over 25 years.
Mr Travers said the Premier hadn’t fully disclosed the real cost of the stadium and was distracting people with decade-old ideas like cup holders and coloured lights.
“What we need to know is what the interest rate on that 40 per cent that we’re borrowing through this private arrangement is because that will tell us the real price,” Mr Travers said.
“It’s dangling a whole lot of pretty pictures but it’s really just repeating what’s been proposed for the last decade in terms of the design of the stadium.”
Mr Travers said Mr Barnett likening the stadium’s financing to a mortgage was incorrect because the government was borrowing the initial down payment.
While Mr Barnett said the project would come in $40 million under budget, he conceded interest would increase the $901 million price tag over time.
But he said he believed the money made from hosting sporting events and concerts would help pay the bill.
The WA Government hopes to have the stadium ready by the 2018 AFL season.
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