The West Coast Eagles have turned sod on their new headquarters at Lathlain Park this morning, but chairman Alan Cransberg said the club was still negotiating a deal with the managers of the new Perth Stadium.
The work at Lathlain started this morning, just weeks after the Victoria Park Urban Tree Network voiced concerns about 98 mature trees at the oval being cut down to make way for the development.
Cransberg said he hoped the Perth Stadium project would become a benchmark for Australian sporting clubs, but said West Coast would not move in “at any cost”.
“When this project is done this will hopefully be the benchmark for sporting clubs around the country,” he said.
“We’ve been in intense negotiations with the government and Venues Live regarding the New Perth Stadium.
“Let me be clear, we want to go to New Perth Stadium – but we will not do it at any cost … We believe we can get a good deal, but right now we are not satisfied with what is on the table.
“If we took the deal as it is, it would be at a huge cost to us and a huge cost to our members … There are some clubs that have poor stadium deals, and they are far worse off for it.
“Right now we run an independent organisation, we pay league equalisation and we pour money into grassroots footy. I want us to keep doing that.”
Cransberg said the club would move to Lathlain by October 2018.
Swan MHR Steve Irons said the Federal Government would contribute $10 million to the Eagles’s development, and $3 million to the David Wirrpanda foundation, which would also be housed at Lathlain Park.