Perth Arena's deep blue colour scheme may represent WA's clear skies and glittering oceans but the Perth Wildcats are aiming to turn it into a sea of red when they make the $550 million stadium their home next week.
The Arena represents a new dawn for the resurgent Wildcats as they attempt to rekindle the glory days of the 1990s with a return to the city centre.
There is no doubt the Wildcats' target to attract 10,000 members as part of Project 10k is ambitious.
But they are approaching a club-record 7000 members and are daring to dream that Perth Arena will be full for their debut appearance against traditional rivals Adelaide on Friday next week.
Coach Rob Beveridge's players are producing fast-paced, attractive basketball and are the favourites to claim a record sixth NBL championship this season.
That should be enough to draw the crowds, but the well-travelled coach said the venue itself would play a big role in putting backsides on seats.
"I've worked all over the world and been to a lot of NBA venues, but Perth Arena is the best stadium I've ever seen," Beveridge said.
"It's unbelievable and there's a wow factor there for the players. When you go in there's just an atmosphere about it.
"It is state-of-the-art in terms of seating and the way it's put together. We are so lucky and privileged that we're going to be playing there."
Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said the Arena would give the Wildcats an even bigger home court advantage than they had at Challenge Stadium. "It brings them back into the city and into what I think will become the most daunting venue in the competition with more than 10,000 screaming fans," he said.
"The change rooms look great. In fact, I hear Rob Beveridge's main concern is that we have made the visitors' change rooms too comfortable.
"I can't wait for the first game, which will be a highlight of the opening week of the Arena, and I am sure the facilities will mean the pre and post-game social experience will quickly become a major component of a night at the basketball."
The Wildcats will play all 14 home games at Perth Arena during the regular season and will be expected to pack the venue to the rafters if they make the play-offs.
But they will make way for some of the world's best tennis players in December and January when the likes of Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic take to the court for the Hopman Cup.
The Arena's $70 million retractable roof will allow Hopman Cup organisers to replicate the conditions at the Australian Open, giving players the perfect warm-up for the first grand slam of the year.
Sports fans will enjoy unprecedented levels of comfort and are expected to make use of first-class facilities such as the bar that overlooks the court at the northern end.Motocross, equestrian and ice events are also planned for Perth Arena.
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