Cross-code double-header sees Optus Stadium transform in just 48 hours

The cross-code ‘double header’ means catering, operational and ground staff from Optus Stadium manager VenuesLive will be as active behind the scenes as the professionals on the pitch.

Chefs will work through first light on Saturday into the night to turn around food preparation.

Approximately 150 deliveries will arrive at stadium this week to supply all the food and beverage required not only for the weekend’s twin fixtures but also for staff mid-week.

From a crowd catering perspective, over the course of the two sporting events, fans of both codes at the stadium are estimated to consume:

  • 1000 kegs of Gage Roads beer,
  • 20,000 portions of chips,
  • 8000 hamburgers,
  • 5000 hot dogs,
  • 7000 pies and sausage rolls,
  • 8000 meals in premium areas.

Because Optus Stadium was designed as a multi-purpose beast capable for overnight transition between events, staff have been schooled in how to transform it for such occasions as this weekend.

From an operational point of view, the timeline of how this will work after the conclusion of West Coast’s match at 9pm goes a little something like this:

Friday 9pm: Stadium will be cleaned overnight, using 140 cleaners, AFL goalposts removed and soccer goals installed.
Friday evening: AFL logos washed out, more than 1km of signage switched out, broadcast configuration changes over from AFL to soccer.
Saturday morning: Pitch will be prepared first thing in the morning, including mark-outs. More than 120m of LED will be set up on the field and tested.
Saturday afternoon: Perth Glory and Sydney FC will have familiarisation sessions, rehearsals will be held for A-League match-day entertainment.
Sunday: Game day.

Perth's stunning Optus Stadium will be in the sporting spotlight across Australia with two massive fixtures in two codes this weekend.

Perth’s stunning Optus Stadium will be in the sporting spotlight across Australia with two massive fixtures in two codes this weekend.

An Optus Stadium spokesperson said over the course of the two days about 3400 customer service, security and catering shifts would be worked at the stadium, and 20 waste recovery vehicles would be deployed.

Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna said the 60,000-seat stadium was designed to give venue management the flexibility to host a range of different events in a matter of days.

“The great advantage that we have with Optus Stadium is a design which gives us the ability to host different sporting events, requiring different configurations and with a totally new audience, in a short space of time,” he told WAtoday on Tuesday.

“We experienced moving from AFL mode to football mode last year with the 24-hour turnaround between an AFL game and the Chelsea versus Perth Glory game.

“The team here will begin preparations for the A-League grand final shortly after the conclusion of the West Coast game on Friday night.

“It is the A-League’s biggest game of the year, and courtesy of a dominant Perth Glory team this season, we get to showcase this magnificent stadium.

West Coast resume hostilities against Melbourne on Friday night at Optus Stadium after ending the Demons' 2018 season there.

West Coast resume hostilities against Melbourne on Friday night at Optus Stadium after ending the Demons’ 2018 season there.

“This is a really exciting weekend for Western Australian sport, with the chance for us to host more than 100,000 fans over two big nights and showcase the stadium to an eastern states football audience who may not have seen the Optus Stadium before.

“We expect that this will mean more tourists from interstate coming to experience the stadium and what Perth has to offer at the wide range of great events we have on our schedule.”

Almost 40,000 tickets have already been sold for Sunday’s A-League grand final, already a new WA attendance record for the code, with the Glory on target to smash the Australian crowd record of 55,436 for a league grand final back in 2007 when Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide United in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Perth Glory fared just as well at Monday night’s Dolan Warren Awards in Sydney as they did at HBF Park on Friday night.

Chris Ikonomidis marked his debut season in purple by claiming the A-League Young Footballer of the Year Award, coach Tony Popovic – in his first year at the helm of Perth – was named Coach of the Year for a second time and WA superstar Sam Kerr retained her W-League Golden Boot Award.

The Johnny Warren Medal for the A-League’s best player was won by Wellington’s Roy Krishna but Glory players featured prominently in the award, with Neil Kilkenny finishing second and maestro striker Diego Castro sharing fourth spot.

Tickets for the A-League grand final, which kicks off at 4.30pm on Sunday, and any remaining tickets for the West Coast fixture at 6.10pm on Friday can be purchased on the Ticketmaster website.

David writes about sports and lifestyle for WAtoday.

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