Home / World News / Perth Glory, Western Force face fixture chaos next season after being locked out of HBF Park for weeks

Perth Glory, Western Force face fixture chaos next season after being locked out of HBF Park for weeks

Perth Glory and Western Force home games will be thrown into chaos with clubs kicked out of HBF Park for several weeks next season.

The move could be a financial disaster for both sides with two concerts and stadium upgrades for the Women’s World Cup in July next year forcing them out.

Optus Stadium is the only realistic option but the clubs are likely to demand financial compensation from the government if they are forced to use the more expensive venue.

Work on the $35 million HBF Park upgrade, bringing it into line with FIFA requirements, is due to start at the end of the year.

English singer-songwriter Harry Styles plays at the stadium on February 20 with another artist pencilled in for the first weekend in March.

The stage will remain on the ground between shows before six weeks of turf restoration for the five internationals.

Glory will be unlikely to play any A-League fixtures at HBF Park between October, when their season opens, and January before being turfed out for up to seven weeks a month later.

The Force would have to play their first nine Super Rugby games on the road from mid-February and be left with five consecutive home games in May.

Glory have played Australia Cup games at Dorrien Gardens but it is not suitable for the A-League, chief executive Tony Pignata said.

“Keeping us out of HBF Park would be a disaster after our two terrible COVID years,” Pignata said.

Perth Glory CEO Tony Pignata
Picture: Simon Santi The West Australian
Camera IconPerth Glory CEO Tony Pignata. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

“Potentially losing four months at HBF Park is ridiculous.

“If we had to play at Optus we’d have to get some compensation.

“We are one of the major tenants of HBF Park. VenuesWest needs to sit down with us and come up with a solution.”

Force chief executive Tony Lewis said the club was “extremely frustrated” to be left without a home until late April.

“About a month ago a general chat with VenuesWest informed us of the two concerts and the absolute unrealistic grass maintenance program meant HBF was not available to late April,” Lewis said.

“We have requested VenuesWest re-look at the grass maintenance program and work on a solution that is fair, equitable and consistent for a long-term hirer.

“The burden of cost both financially and from a high performance perspective is something we need addressing.”

A VenuesWest spokesperson said: “With the return of world class international concerts and the necessary timing of the pitch upgrades there are unavoidable disruptions to the fixtures for Western Force and Perth Glory.

“VenuesWest continues to work closely with Western Force and Perth Glory and is looking at opportunities for the teams to play at other venues around Perth.

“Works to upgrade the pitch have been carefully planned to ensure an optimum playing surface.”

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