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WACA Ground

East Perth, WA

Home of the Perth Scorchers

3.6

N/A

WACA Ground (map it)
Nelson Cres
East Perth, WA 6004
Australia


Perth Scorchers website

WACA Ground website

Year Opened: 1893

Capacity: 20,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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A Scorcher at the Furnace

The WACA Ground (Western Australian Cricket Association) is the home of cricket in Perth, Western Australia. Officially opened in 1893, the current capacity is 20,000. Despite such a long history, with the bulk of Australia's population residing in the eastern states, the tyranny of distance meant a long wait until the WACA Ground became a regular host of international cricket. The first test match played here didn't take place until 1970, marked by a century to Greg Chappell on debut. A new grandstand was opened to celebrate test cricket coming to Perth, originally known as the Test Stand, but later renamed after WA stalwart John Inverarity.

As with many of the other major cricket stadiums around Australia, the WACA Ground has been used for numerous other sports, most notably as a previous home for the AFL's West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers, as well as the now defunct NRL team, the Western Reds. With the new Perth Stadium scheduled to open in 2018, the WACA Ground will be remodelled into a high-performance cricket hub, still capable of holding international fixtures, but the Scorchers, along with the major internationals, will all move to the new venue.

The Perth Scorchers, like all the other Big Bash League Twenty20 cricket franchises, was formed in 2011 as a new identity separate from existing state teams. They have since experienced great success on the field, making the grand final in all but one of their five seasons to date, and have already won two championships. The Scorchers regularly see capacity crowds at the WACA Ground of 20,000+.

3.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

The variety of food available is one of the big surprises on a trip to the WACA Ground, although the typically high prices will bring you back to reality. Nevertheless, there are some impressive options to be found. The burger selection is solid, with special mention going to the pulled pork burger ($12.50) and the top-of-the-line beef, bacon, and cheese burger ($13.50). Another standout is the wood smoked hot dogs (from $10), which complement more standard items such as hot chips, pies, and sausage rolls. Additionally, there is a small section of sandwiches, wraps, and sushi for fans looking for a lighter option.

Beverage-wise, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are both available, although are fairly pricey, with a beer costing a minimum of $7.

Atmosphere    3

Being relatively small in capacity by modern standards makes the WACA Ground an intimate, boutique venue. Various refurbishments over the years have led to the gradual addition of grandstand seating. In addition to the Inverarity Stand, spectators can also take advantage of the Prindiville and Lillee-Marsh stands; the rest of the seating is on the grass, or in tiered concourses at ground level.

This writer is somewhat of a traditionalist, and therefore sees the naming of grandstands and other fixtures around the venue as a welcome nod to history and past greats. For example, there is the "Barry Shepherd Entrance" at Gate 6. Shepherd not only played test cricket for Australia, but was also an outstanding junior footballer, and later an administrator for the WACA Ground.

The playing surface itself at the WACA Ground is world famous for the nature of its pitch conditions, traditionally being bouncy and quick. The stadium is branded as #TheFurnace for Scorchers games, and feels like a fortress.

Neighborhood    4

The suburb of East Perth is nestled on the banks of the Swan River, a short distance from the main CBD. The surrounding area has plenty of great hotels, restaurants, and cafés, including The Royal (60 Royal Street). The Perth area also has a strong affinity with the water, including the river and great beaches. In fact, just beyond the sprawling parklands of Kings Park is the Royal Perth Yacht Club (6 Australia II Drive, Crawley). Royal Perth was of course the famous challenger club that won the 1983 America's Cup, following 132 years in the hands of the New York Yacht Club; Royal Perth also subsequently staged the 1987 defense off Fremantle.

There are many locales within the metropolitan area worth exploring; Fremantle is a must, along with the glorious beachside communities of Cottesloe and Scarborough. There are also several other major sporting venues in Perth, namely Domain Stadium (the AFL's West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers) and nib Stadium (Western Force rugby and Perth Glory soccer). Soccer is a summer sport in Australia, so check both the Big Bash and A-League schedules if you're travelling to town for any doubleheader opportunities.

Fans    4

The WACA Ground may be small, but the fans duly pack it out every game, and are as passionate about their team as any other BBL franchise. There are plenty of families in attendance, and the crowd is largely a sea of orange. Unlike other teams around the country, fans show up early, and are raring to go by the time play gets underway. See the video below for a quick look at the ground:

Access    3

There are several reasonable options to get to and from the ground on game day. The City of Perth operates several paid parking stations well within walking distance; check out the city's parking site for details, the parking rates are very reasonable compared to other major cities around the country. In addition, for public transport see the Transperth site to plan your journey. Note that there are also several free bus services from the CBD to the ground, and trains are also an option, but the station at East Perth is around a 2km walk away.

One of the nicer points about walking into the precinct is the scenery, and many fans soak up the atmosphere while strolling through the Queen's Garden as they approach from the west. Once inside the stadium, however, it is not as easy to move around, as the stadium somewhat becomes a victim of its age and lack of development over the years; access to upper levels is by stairs, seating rows are long and narrow, and bathrooms are dated.

Return on Investment    4

Ticket prices offer value for money with adult General Admission from as low as $20. The usual discounts for children and families also apply, making entry for most very affordable. As always, all BBL teams tend to offer a good experience for families, and are a sensational way to take the youngsters to experience the fun of a night out at the cricket.

Extras    3

The WACA Ground does excellent marketing to blend with the team's branding, and to liven up an otherwise bland stadium name; the venue also offers free sunscreen.

If you only attend one game, make sure it is the New Year's Day game, as this provides the best entertainment.

Final Thoughts

While it's not the most modern stadium around, the experience is excellent. See the Scorchers at #TheFurnace before the new Perth Stadium opens across the beautiful Swan River.

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