The cost of keeping the "Perth" in Perth Arena has been revealed - and it is more than $1.4 million a year.

The Barnett Government's mid-year financial review document shows that revenue from the sale of naming rights to the new 15,000 seat Wellington Street venue had already been budgeted for by the Department of Sports and Recreation.

The Arena will be showcased to an international television audience from tomorrow when it hosts its inaugural Hopman Cup tennis tournament.

The department, which is responsible for the Arena through its facilities management agency VenuesWest, had budgeted to collect $2.1 million from the sale of naming rights in 2012-13 and then $1.4 million a year from 2013-14, cash that would have been used to offset some of the costs associated with running the $549 million venue.

Industry sources had previously suggested the value of the naming rights was "well north" of $1 million a year.

_The West Australian _revealed last month that the Government's stadium management company AEG Ogden was in advanced negotiations to sell the naming rights to the Arena before being ordered to halt talks at the last minute.

The decision to reverse course was made because Premier Colin Barnett wanted to keep "Perth" in the name, declaring "private naming rights would not be appropriate for such a significant piece of State-owned infrastructure".

It is understood AEG Ogden was close to a deal with Queensland banking and finance group Suncorp, which has settled instead for a package of signs inside the Arena and exclusivity for its automatic teller machines at the venue.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said yesterday he was not philosophically opposed to selling naming rights to the Arena, but he would want a higher price than $1.4 million a year to do so.

The $1.4 million figure is double the reported annual value of stockbroking firm Patersons' naming rights deal with the WA Football Commission for Subiaco Oval.


The West Australian

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