It was certainly a long wait and cost far more than was originally budgeted but since the Perth Arena opened its doors the feedback has been mostly positive.

Throughout the building process there was criticism of the venue's design, a significant delay in construction and a cost blow out.

The Arena manager Steve Hevern says people in Perth waited patiently for the venue to open and the big crowds since it has opened are testament to its quality.

"I appreciate some people were not impressed with it during the construction period but I think a lot of them have come around now they have seen the finished product and understand the concepts and inspirations behind the design," he said.

Some think further external works are needed and the site still looks unfinished but Perth's 15,500 capacity venue has attracted celebrities that may not have otherwise visited WA, including Elton John to J-Lo.

It is also home to the Perth Wildcats and recently hosted the Hopman Cup.

More space for cats to play

Wildcat's player Matt Knight says it's a big change from their previous home at Challenge Stadium because it can accommodate significantly more fans.

"Obviously Challenge was good with 4,000 but we've got 11,000 screaming Wildcats fans here," he said.

"It definitely helps, the atmosphere here is absolutely amazing."

Wildcat's coach Rob Beveridge says he's also been pleasantly surprised by the numbers.

"It's a new toy for everybody and we've just continued getting 11-12,000 every single game and I just think it shows how much support that we have from the community," he said.

"It's a great arena, great atmosphere."

Wildcat's CEO Nick Marvin says moving to the new venue was a necessity.

"They almost always sold out at Challenge so they needed a bigger capacity," he said.

Mr Marvin said the new Arena has not only thrilled old fans but attracted new ones as well.

"People are going to games just for the Arena itself," he said.

The Wildcats set an NBL attendance record this year when 12,336 fans watched the Wildcats versus the Melbourne Tigers at the Arena in January.

Knight says another boon for the club is the central location.

"Being back in the City people can come down from work," he said.

The Arena is walking distance from the Perth train and bus stations and a free Cat bus stop just outside the venue and public transport is included in the ticket price for most events.

There are also 698 parking bays available directly under the Arena for those who prefer or need to drive.

Allsorts

Perth promoter Rosita Stangl says the Arena has been good for all forms of entertainment not just basketball.

"I've been to rock concerts, also the Wildcats," she said.

"It's brilliant for basketball and sensational for tennis.

"The Arena saw 104,000 people over the week it [the Hopman Cup] was here, that's 22,000 more than Burswood."

She said she's had a number of promoters visiting who have been very impressed.

"Not only does it bring more events, but more people," she said.

However, there have been some criticisms of the Arena.

Visitors to the Hopman Cup were upset they could no longer take food and drink into the venue as they had done when it was hosted by Burswood.

The cost of food on sale inside the venue has also been criticised.

Mr Hevern admits there have been some problems to address.

"Every new venue receives feedback on a range of issues, good and bad, and Perth Arena has been no different," he said.

But he says they have overcome a number of obstacles since opening.

"As all professional venue managers, AEG Ogden welcomes and encourages feedback and uses it to continually improve its standards of customer service," he said.

"The opening phase of the Venue has been a learning experience for all involved and we pride ourselves on adapting to change - which we have."

 

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