Could the $95 million redevelopment of nib Stadium lure the likes of Manchester United to WA? Perth Glory certainly hope so.
The State Government today opened the south stand at nib Stadium, which is part of ongoing works to turn the ground into a top class venue by March 2013.
The south stand will increase the existing capacity to 11,200, which will be extend to 20,500 when the northern end and much larger east stand are completed.
Glory chief executive Paul Kelly said the redeveloped stadium would open up a world of opportunity for the club, including bringing more big European teams to Perth for friendly matches.
Celtic, as well as English Premier League clubs Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers, have all played at nib Stadium in recent years, while former Football Federation Australia boss Ben Buckley said last year the redevelopment would boost Perth's chances of hosting Socceroos games.
"It will be a world class venue for rectangular sports," Kelly said.
"We can attract international soccer teams - the Manchester Uniteds, Manchester Citys, European teams. It's just going to be a fantastic venue.
"I think you underestimate this venue for Perth Glory. We've got Asian Champions League this year and that's massive. It's a massive competition.
"Attract that in; attract Asian Cup games, Olympic Games (qualifiers), Olympic warm-ups. The world's our oyster."
More immediate is that Glory will be able to let more fans in to watch A-League games this season after turning fans away at the round-three game against Melbourne Heart.
Chairman Tony Sage had threatened to move big games to Patersons Stadium to accommodate larger crowds, but the opening of the south stand relieves some of that pressure.
"It opens up a heap of opportunity given the restricted capacity that we have," Kelly said.
"We had to lock people out of the first game (this season) and the second game was near capacity.
"It gives us the opportunity to sell memberships and tickets on match day.
"But more importantly for families, it's probably the most affordable family sporting ticket in town at $60-70 for a family of four in the family (south) stand."
Meanwhile, the State Government is close to finalising a compensation package for Glory, who are seeking $1.2 million compensation in anticipation of lost revenue during the redevelopment.
"We recognise that there's been disruption to Perth Glory and we've recognised that all the way through," Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said."We've been in talks with Perth Glory regarding compensation. Those talks are just about at an end point and they've been very positive so I expect that to be wound up pretty quickly."
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