The West Australian state government has done a last-minute flip on its new indoor sports and concert stadium in Perth.
It was reportedly very close to giving the job to the Multiplex construction company, which had offered three designs. It was to have been run by Arena Management, which operates venues in Sydney and Auckland.
However, the government launched a new design competition, and will build, fund and operate the 14,000-capacity venue itself. Preliminary estimates put the cost at $160 million, although cynics say this could blow out. It is looking for the stadium to open by November 2008. Work was to have begun by October 2004.
It is not known why the government nixed Multiplex, but they had been haggling over the cost. The government wanted to contribute $50 million over 20 years. Multiplex was reportedly pushing for the government’s share to go as high as $102 million.
In June, another of the original tenderers, Mirvac Fini, pulled out, complaining that the $50 million contribution was inadequate.