Australia’s bid to host the Women’s FIFA World Cup in 2023 has provided a boon for soccer in WA with Queens Park to house a new $32.5 million elite football facility.
Jointly funded by the WA and Federal Governments, the State Football Centre is due to be completed by mid-2023 in time for the showpiece event.
The announcement comes after an independent report into the bidding process tipped Australia and New Zealand’s joint application as front runners on Saturday.
The advisory report ranked each bid based on facilities, accommodation and commercial reach — with New Zealand and Australia outscoring rival bidders Japan and Colombia.
Brazil had also submitted a bid but withdrew its application last week due to economic concerns as a result of COVID-19.
Soccer’s WA governing body Football West will move to the new compound, which will also house high-performance training facilities and at least two pitches capable of high-intensity usage and supported by change rooms and a gym.
Permanent seating for 700 will be constructed on site, which can be expanded to 4000 for occasional special events.
It is envisaged the centre, which is in the project definition plan phase, will also host a number of other pitches that will support grassroots and community soccer programs.
There is also the possibility a WA-based A-League club could take up residence at the facility, and it will be used as a training base for visiting clubs and international sides playing at Optus Stadium.
The centre will be built on an area of bushland in Queens Park that includes Maniana Park and the City of Canning is in the process of developing a master plan for the surrounding area.
Football West chief executive James Curtis said while the centre would serve as the training ground for the State’s next generation of elite talent, it would play an equally important role in developing grassroots soccer, including the women’s game.
The McGowan Government has committed $16.25 million to the project, with that funding matched by the Commonwealth.
Mark McGowan said it was beyond time WA built a proper home for soccer, a sport that has consistently grown in popularity and participation.
“The facility will cater for all levels of football, from grassroots community programs to high-performance games and be the best place for elite training,” the Premier said.
“When complete, this Centre will help develop WA’s next stars of the game, like Trent Sainsbury and Sam Kerr.”