The National Rugby League’s two-day Nines festival could be the surprise event to open the Perth Stadium.
The NRL is considering staging the pre-season carnival-style competition, featuring its 16 teams, over a weekend in early February. The stadium’s official handover is scheduled for February 22.
Cricket Australia and the WA Cricket Association have said they still hope a one-day international between Australia and England could be the blockbuster first sports event at the stadium on January 28. They are willing to delay a decision on the venue.
It is still to be decided which of the State’s AFL teams will play first at the stadium. But Rugby League could steal a march on the “traditional” WA sports of cricket and AFL with its short-form carnival.
The WA Government is in talks with the NRL about hosting the event to showcase the stadium but would have to pay around $3 million to secure it.
“Event announcements will be made in due course,” VenuesLive chief executive Mike McKenna said.