The WACA, nestled in the suburb of East Perth, has been the home of cricket in Western Australia since the early 1890s. WACA are the initials of its owners and operators, the Western Australian Cricket Association. Throughout its history, the ground has also been used for a range of other sports, including athletics carnivals, Australian Rules Football, baseball, soccer, Rugby League, Rugby Union and International Rules Football as well as major rock concerts.
The WACA Ground was officially opened in 1893 with the first match played on the turf wickets in 1894. In 1907, the England XI first played Western Australia at the ground.
Sir Donald Bradman played at the ground for the first time in 1932, attracting a crowd of more than 20,000 fans. The iconic WACA scoreboard from 1954 is still in operation. The ‘Test’ Stand was built to celebrate the first Test Cricket match between Australia and England played at the WACA in 1970. The Rolling Stones performed at the WACA during their 1973 Pacific Tour. The Test Stand was later renamed the Inverarity Stand after Western Australian, South Australian and Australian cricket player John Inverarity. The Prindiville Stand was opened to commemorate the centenary of the WACA in 1985. Light towers were installed the following year allowing for night time sports such as day-night cricket matches to be played at the ground. The Lillee-Marsh Stand was built in 1988, Australia’s bicentennial year, in honour of two of Australia’s greatest cricketers.
With capacity for up to 24,500 people, a crowd of 28,000 fans packed the stadium for the One Day International cricket match between Australia and South Africa in 1994. The largest crowd at the WACA of 34,317 attended to see the AFL Preliminary Final between the West Coast Eagles and the Melbourne Football Club in 1994. The Guinness World Record for the highest basketball shot in the world was thrown from one of the four flood-light towers at the WACA.
The pitch at the WACA is regarded as one of the quickest and bounciest in the world. These characteristics, in combination with the afternoon sea-breeze called The Fremantle Doctor, have made the ground an attractive place for pace and swing bowlers. As at December 2012, four of the seven fastest Test centuries have been scored at the WACA.
The WACA Museum located on-site features exhibits and memorabilia about Western Australian cricket. Guided tours of the museum are available on weekdays.
The WACA is surrounded by historic Queens Park and Gloucester Park, the venue for horse trotting races. The gardens of Queens Gardens date back to in 1899 and are a wonderful spot for a picnic or stroll. Spend some time shopping and taking in the city's great attractions, galleries and museums or choose one of the many riverside restaurants for a delicious lunch of fresh local produce.
Free CAT buses operate from Perth to the WACA Ground from various stops around the city. The entry gate is on Hale Street, near the corner of Nelson Crescent.