The Western Australia (WA) state government has officially assumed control of the new Optus Stadium.
Built at a cost of A$1.5bn (€974.1m/US$1.17bn/£862.2m), the 60,000-capacity venue is due to open on January 21 with a free public event. The stadium will host its first sporting event a week later, when Australia takes on England in a one-day international cricket match on January 28.
Citing an official Optus Stadium spokesperson, the PerthNow.com.au website said that the WA government has taken ownership of the facility three months ahead of schedule.
The move comes after commercial acceptance was granted on December 31 to Westadium, the consortium led by Brookfield Financial and John Laing that both designed and built the stadium.
However, while the main stadium building is complete and ready to stage events, other work around the venue is still ongoing, including a pedestrian footbridge that has faced a series of setbacks.
PerthNow.com.au said the footbridge, which connects the facility to East Perth, will not be finished until May. The overall construction cost has increased from an initial forecast of A$50m to A$83m.
In addition, work is still ongoing on a ‘mega pub’ that will sit next to the new stadium, although a completion date for this facility has not yet been announced.
In November, it was confirmed that the yet-to-be-finished footbridge will be known as the Matagarup Bridge to recognise the cultural significance of the area to the indigenous Whadjuk community.
Matagarup Bridge has been redesigned to exclude the previously planned fabric cladding. The state government has said the move will help to save Aus$4m (£2.3m/€2.6m/$3m) in construction costs and $11m in maintenance over 40 years.
Image: Optus Stadium