Western Australia’s recovery phase from COVID-19 will hit a major milestone this week with significant crowds returning to watch two games of the Australian Football League at Optus Stadium.
On Thursday night Geelong will play Collingwood while Fremantle will host the West Coast Eagles in a Western Derby on Sunday.
With Phase 4 restrictions still in place the 50 per cent capacity and two square metre rules apply with Optus Stadium able to host up to 30,633.
More than 1,400 casual staff, security and cleaners will be employed over the two games.
Local businesses are also set to benefit with 85 per cent of suppliers at the stadium being from WA.
Some things will be different at Optus Stadium with hand sanitising facilities placed throughout the venue, staff will conduct extra high-touch cleaning on event day and payments at the stadium will now be contactless.
All staff have undertaken their AHA Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 Hygiene Course.
With extra public transport services and attendees to the match capped it provides the opportunity to better physically distance while on-board. Transperth staff will also be closely managing the boarding of passengers onto trains and buses.
However, attendees will be asked to be patient as there will likely be more waiting time required to catch their service as a result.
Crews will be cleaning buses and trains before and during the match, focussing on high touchpoint areas, such as buttons, hand holds and guard rails. Additional cleaning will also take place at Stadium Station.
Physical distancing is not required on Western Australian public transport under advice from the Chief Health Officer.
This week will also see netball played at RAC Arena with the West Coast Fever playing an all-stars team on Wednesday, while HBF Stadium will host a number of local acts on Saturday night at the “WA Unlocked” concert.
As stated by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
“Western Australians rally around their sport and it is terrific that we can get back to doing the things we love and make use of our world-class venues.
“The Western Derby is one of the great rivalries in Australian sport and can I also warmly welcome two AFL clubs with proud and rich histories in Geelong and Collingwood to WA.
“If it wasn’t for the commitment shown by the community in keeping our State safe during COVID-19, we would not be in this position, so thank you.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Although the match will be capped under Phase 4 of our roadmap, we will be providing extra services at the games to ensure we have sufficient capacity on our trains and buses.
“PTA staff will be monitoring the loading of passengers at the stadium, to ensure there is sufficient space on our services.
“However we expect it may take longer to clear the stadium so we ask all football fans to be patient.
“Crews will be cleaning buses and trains before and during the game, as well as additional cleaning services taking place at Stadium Station.
“Thanks to all the Transperth team for working hard through COVID and continuing to play an important role in our State’s recovery – and go the Dockers.”