Sports fans in Western Australia can look forward to battle lines being drawn over the next few months as debate begins over who should open the 60,000 capacity new Perth Stadium upon its completion.

Work has begun on the project at Burswood, just minutes east of the Perth CBD, and is due to be finished in December 2017 with the inaugural event to place in the first quarter of 2018.

Football West, the round ball game’s governing body in the state, has launched a bold plan to have the Socceroos take on a world powerhouse in the curtain raiser.

The Australian national side hasn’t graced Perth since a friendly against Indonesia in 2005, much to the annoyance of the local football community, and Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed that it is on board with the initiative.

“The new Perth stadium will be a world-class venue, so it makes sense to open the stadium with a major football match that will resonate across Australia and Asia and make an impact on the global media,” said FFA boss Gallop.

“FFA commends Football West on this initiative and we’ll work with [FW Chairman] Liam Twigger and [FW Chief Executive Officer] Peter Hugg in conjunction with the WA Government on what is an ambitious and exciting project.”

Former Socceroo and Perth Glory midfielder Richard Garcia, born and raised in WA, is amongst those fully behind the ambitious proposal.

“I think that would be fantastic,” he told the A-League club’s website.

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“Perth hasn’t really seen something like that and something as big as an international match at a new stadium would be fantastic, not only for Australia but for WA.

“I’m sure you could probably sell a game like that three or four times over so it’d be fantastic for WA.”

At the time of writing, a Perth Now poll asking whether a Socceroos v England clash would be a fitting first fixture for the new stadium has been met by a 80.26% ‘Yes’ response from 2193 votes cast.

However, Football West and FFA will have a battle on their hands, with the Australian Football League (AFL) likely to push for a Western Derby between the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers.

Given that the AFL is partly funding the project, it’s perfectly understandable that they want first crack at the facilities.

“We would be very keen to play the first game there and hopefully it is a derby,” WA Football Commission chief executive Gary Walton told The West Australian.

“That would be a great way to kick it off given that AFL football will be the main financial backers of the stadium.”

Another thing in the AFL’s favour is the fact that its season is likely to get underway before FIFA’s March window for international friendlies.

According to their official calendar, FIFA will allow friendly internationals between March 19 and 27 in 2018, with Saturday, March 24 the ideal date for a football match to take place in Perth.

Given the travel involved though, and the fact that it is the business end of the season domestically, there would likely be objection from the club sides of those included in the squad for such a trip.

Of course, all of this case building is dependent on construction going according to plan, and the state is known as “Wait Awhile” for good reason.

The development of the Perth Arena, now home to the National Basketball League’s Perth Wildcats and the Hopman Cup tennis competition, began in June 2007 and was due to completed by 2009, at a cost of $160 million.

However, countless delays and disputes followed, and the cost of the project blew out to $548.7 million before doors were finally opened in November 2012.

Any similar delays for the new stadium could pose a massive problem for the AFL and the two WA based clubs with Subiaco Oval expected to be demolished, though no formal announcement has been made around that yet.

The plans for the New Perth Stadium are very impressive and it will be a welcome addition to the state’s sporting landscape if all goes according to plan.

At 60,000, it will become the nation’s third largest venue after the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Stadium Australia, with potential for that to increase to 70,000 with ‘drop in’ seats.

It will also include over 1000 television screens, 1500 toilets, 4G Wi-Fi coverage, and an all-important cup holder in every seat.

Reports from the middle of last year put the cost of the stadium at $820.7 million, with a further $81.7 million going towards the surrounding precinct and $16 million covering project management.

Whether the Socceroos end up opening the stadium or not, the long term potential for WA to attract international household names is great now that Australia has become such an attractive destination.

This year alone will see Manchester City, Real Madrid, AS Roma and Liverpool take in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide during their offseason, while FFA no doubt has something up its sleeve for Sydney and the A-League All Stars.

Perth missed out on hosting games during the recent Asian Cup due to a lack of State Government support and inadequate facilities, something which simply cannot be repeated.

Even though nib Stadium, home to Perth Glory, has undergone an excellent makeover in recent years, it is still reportedly not up to scratch for top level games and the New Perth Stadium will alleviate any such stumbling blocks in future.

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Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.