Perth Glory owner Tony Sage says the $100 million redevelopment of nib Stadium is timed to suit rugby ahead of soccer and might force his A-League team to move to a new home.
Sage said the capacity was to be almost halved during the next A-League season as a new grandstand was developed. The venue is expected to be ready for the the Western Force to kick off the 2013 season there.
Sage said Glory were looking at moving games to the Burswood Dome and playing undercover.
Burswood Dome was first flagged as a possible home for the Glory in 2007 while the owners were negotiating terms over staying at nib Stadium.
Sage, speaking on Perth radio, said crowd numbers had been about 13 to 14,000 on average last season but “they’re telling us now that we’re only going to have 9000, of which only four and a half or 5000 are seated.
“That means 5000 have got to stand up. There is the alternative – we’ll never play there again.”
Sage said construction should have begun months ago or been left until the end of the season.
“We’ve been the anchor tenant there since 1996,” Sage said. ”For them to come and destroy our entire season, and not impact on rugby who only play seven games a year there, is just an absolute farce.”
At completion of the first stage of the upgrade, which includes replacing all temporary sections of the facility, the stadium will have a capacity of about 20,500 people. It currently has a capacity of 18,000, but during the 2012-2013 A-League season it will operate with a reduced capacity of about 9500 people due to construction.
The full upgrade will include a covered eastern grandstand, a new uncovered southern stand, new food and beverage and toilet facilities, a 250-seat barbecue terrace and seating for about 420 patrons in open corporate boxes.
The stadium will also get two large video replay boards, a new PA system, a CCTV surveillance system and new pitch lighting.
A new playing surface will be installed between July and October 2013
Image: The West Australian