Australia news July 15, 2014

Special committee to review WACA future

ESPNcricinfo staff

The future of the WACA in Perth will be reviewed by a special committee under the leadership of businessman Michael Smith. The committee's report, which will be submitted in December, will include recommendations on redevelopment and infrastructure with associated funding options.

The WACA has been facing an uncertain future after a major redevelopment plan was abandoned in December 2013. The project included linking an upgrade of the ground's facilities to the construction of commercial and residential properties on site, but poor pre-sales led to scrapping of the plan.

The ground has also been left out from the summer Test schedule for the first time in 40 years and needs to find a way to fund the improvement in facilities to meet the ICC standards. Despite the uncertainty, the ground will host three World Cup matches in March 2015.

"During the past two years we have invested significant funds in facilities at the WACA Ground, but clearly we need to consider options that meet the current and future expectations of spectators and make watching cricket more enjoyable," Sam Gannon, the WACA chairman, said.

"The new Perth Stadium at Burswood will bring new options for sports such as cricket and football in this State, and how these will fit with existing facilities such as the WACA and Patersons Stadium will be important considerations.

"At this stage the WACA Board remains committed to the WACA Ground continuing to be the home of cricket in Western Australia. The WACA will continue to work to grow cricket in WA and develop facilities that meet the needs of WA fans, teams, grass-roots participants and staff."

The Burswood Stadium is currently under construction opposite the WACA on the east side of the Swan River. The venue will be a multi-purpose and mulit-sport 60,000-seat stadium that the Western Australia minister for sport and recreation Terry Waldron said in December would be fan-friendly from day one.

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