Stadium windfall depends on visitors

Kent Acott
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Stadium windfall depends on visitors

The stadium at Burswood could provide a $291 million annual economic windfall for Perth - including 1390 jobs - but only if enough interstate and international visitors can be guaranteed tickets.

An economic impact assessment by consultants AEC Group has calculated that at least 10,000 of the stadium's 60,000 seats need to be available for general admission tickets.

This would allow 2000 seats to be allocated for interstate or overseas visitors.

The assessment, commissioned by the WA Tourism Council, said spending by these visitors would create $291 million in total economic output and 1390 full-time jobs every year.

"These tourists will arrive at Perth Airport, catch a taxi, stay in hotels, visit the stadium, dine out and go shopping," council chief executive Evan Hall said.

"All of this tourist activity translates into jobs and income for Western Australians - jobs in hospitality, retail, aviation, transport, arts, sports and entertainment."

Premier Colin Barnett agreed that the stadium, which is due to be finished by 2018, needed to have good quality seats made available for interstate visitors.

He said he had had informal discussions with former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire about ensuring enough seats were available for visitors.

Mr Hall said the best way for regional and interstate fans to access seats was to build them into low-cost tourism packages.

The AEC report said football fans visiting WA spent $560.52 per day. And research showed that most of them stayed for at least three days - one in three stayed for five days.

Fans who stayed longer visited attractions such as Fremantle (24.8 per cent), Kings Park (13.5), the Swan River (11.7), Hillarys Boat Harbour (10.4) and Mandurah (9).

Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan said there was no doubt the new stadium would bring significant tourism benefits.

"Nowadays, big events mean big business," he said. "We know that around 15 per cent of all our international visitors, that's around 900,000 people, attend a cultural or sporting event during their trip."