You have this brand new oval in Perth sitting idle during the summer.
What to do?
Perth and Optus Stadium have as their goal lifting the Boxing Day Test from the MCG or the New Year’s Test from SCG.
It was something of an exaggeration to say Optus is sitting idle. Shield is played there and other uses are not hard to find.
We just have to say, “My, that Western Australia grass looks mighty fine.”
Cricket Australia’s agreement with MCG expires at summer’s end and the contract with SCG runs through 2022.
The big man at Optus, Mike McKenna, has put his hand up for either or both of the matches telling The Age, “If the opportunity comes to talk to us, we would be very keen to have those conversations. We are always talking behind the scenes. We had a very good conversation with Cricket Australia and we know what the timings are and what the opportunities are.”
It would appear that the behind-the-scenes talks have crossed over to in-front-of-the-scenes talks; otherwise, we could not be telling you any of this.
As is often the case these days, if Western Australia were to be successful in prying either or both of the iconic matches from the east, it would require some assistance for the government, which is a tender topic for many who believe that professional sports should be self-supporting.
“It’s a decision for them (CA) but we as a venue, we are here to host the biggest and best events and if the opportunity came to host the Boxing Day Test here, or even the New Year’s Test, we would be all over it,” McKenna added.
The deal with MCG for the AFL Grand Final could be next on the radar of the sand gropers, but imagine the uproar if anyone were to suggest that the Grand Final be played anywhere else.
It would be the relative equivalent of moving the Melbourne Cup to Ascot.