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Arena chief dies on eve of opening
Perth Arena project

The general manager of the long-awaited $549 million Perth Arena has died on the eve of its opening.

Venue operator AEG Ogden confirmed David Humphreys, 57, who managed the demolished Perth Entertainment Centre, died yesterday morning after a heart attack.

He had been diagnosed with leukaemia a week ago.

The 15,000-seat venue is due to open on November 10.

Mr Humphreys joined the Seven Network to run the Entertainment Centre and later moved to the Sydney Superdome in 2000.

He returned to Perth last year to run Perth Arena.

He is survived by four children and five grandchildren.

Channel 7 managing director Mario D'Orazio said Mr Humphreys was committed to the entertainment industry and was a warm, passionate professional.

"We were looking forward to him turning Perth Arena into something spectacular," he said.

AEG Ogden director Harvey Lister said Perth Arena's pre-opening office and Allphones Arena in Sydney would be devastated by the news. "Our thoughts and prayers are with David's children and extended family at this very sad time," Mr Lister said. VenuesWest chief executive David Etherton said Mr Humphreys was a "superstar bloke" and an asset to the arena.

"Our thoughts are with his family, particularly as he's got children and grandchildren, and the team he's been leading out at Perth Arena," he said.

"He was one of the most experienced arena managers in the industry with decades of experience in Perth and Sydney and he will be sorely missed."

Mr Etherton said Mr Humphreys would have been disappointed to not have seen the opening of the venue.

"He's been working hard for that for 20 months and he would have loved to have seen it," he said.

"It would have been one of the crowning moments of his career."