Sports stadiums are frequently in the news around Perth. There are the State Government’s plans for a major new sporting stadium for AFL and other sports at Burswood, there is the much anticipated Perth Arena (eventually) nearing completion, the world famous WACA and its plans for expansion and then there is the home of Perth Glory and the Western Force – nib Stadium.
We say the home of Perth Glory but as things stand, the old Perth Oval (now known as nib Stadium) looks like it may become the former home of Western Australian football (or soccer) as Glory chairman Tony Sage has suggested his club could have played their last game there.
This has arisen due to a dispute over the redevelopment of the nib Stadium which would reduce the capacity for Glory home games but interestingly Sage has suggested the new home for the Glory could be on synthetic grass.
It may sound like pie in the sky to many Glory fans – and Perth sports fans in general – but one idea Sage seems keen to explore is hosting his club’s matches indoors, in the Burswood Dome, which would need considerable renovations and alterations.
Sage reckons this would reduce the capacity from what Glory matches have been used to at nib Stadium, but believes the under-roof aspect of playing at the Dome could help create an electric atmosphere – which Glory fans have been renowned for regardless.
Burswood Dome was initially considered as a possible home for the Glory back in 2007, as the owners were still negotiating terms over staying at nib Stadium, and Sage obviously knows that synthetic grass sports surfaces have advanced dramatically in recent years.
Synthetic grass pitches can now be produced to the exacting standards of football’s world governing body FIFA. Even clubs in the world’s oldest league – the English Football League have stated a desire to install artificial lawn at their home grounds. There is hardly a lack of rain in the UK as there is in Perth but even in the wetter, cooler climes of England there are considerable savings available associated with the maintenance of synthetic grass.
So, is Perth ready for professional sport on synthetic turf? Why not? The Burswood dream is far from a reality for Perth Glory at this point in time but synthetic grass is starting to be used at tennis clubs, cricket clubs and bowls clubs around Western Australia. A major sporting stadium is probably the next logical step for synthetic grass, and at Green Planet Grass we believe a quality artificial football pitch will make a lot of people sit up and take note.