It is great that the new Perth Arena is open for business even if it is still not finished, with tiles on the outside of the building still clearly missing. It has taken far too long to construct and come in hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and is a blight on successive state governments for failing to include penalty rates on the developer in the construction contract.
As is so often the case projects such as this have not been thought through properly in terms of the infrastructure around the venue. Last night fans flocked to watch ageing rocker Elton John play the opening concert at the venue, and it was pandemonium in the surrounding streets.
Many fans made use of the car parks in Murray street and made their way down to the venue taking little care crossing the road, which raises the question why was no parking installed under the venue?
On Wellington street where the venue is located patrons skipped in and out of moving cars to get across the road to the venue. Again why was a footbridge built as part of the development or an underpass under the road so that pedestrians do not take their lives into their own hands crossing the road. With the Perth Wildcats having sold out the venue this Friday night with a capacity crowd of 12500 – a record for the Wildcats at home and the biggest NBL crowd since 2004 – let us hope that there is better control of pedestrians and traffic around the venue, as it would be tragic if a fan should be injured by a passing car so soon after the venue’s opening.
There is no doubt that this issue needs to be looked at sooner rather than later if the venue is going to be regularly hosting events.