One of the biggest series in Australia is the State of Origin. Mostly known as “Australian sport’s greatest rivalry” the series is played between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. It has been played in many venues across the country and even internationally like the 1987 games in Long Beach, California. It apparently didn’t catch on but one can guess that the game was too brutal for North American audiences. Either way, the series has become a national phenomenon since its inception in 1982. Australians don’t mess around when it comes to sports and the State of Origin series is a prime example of that.
If you consider the State of Origin odds then the fact that the game is played in Perth for the 2022 series means that it could be the all the more lucrative for the active punter. Neither team is from the state so there is no stake in the matter. There is no home crowd advantage and that makes for a more exciting game.
The venue for this year’s competition was built in 2017 so it is a relatively new stadium compared to many around the country. It is situated in the suburb of Burswood and has a total capacity of 61,266. It is the third largest stadium in Australia behind the MCG in Melbourne and Stadium Australia in Sydney, making it one of the most popular stadiums for Australian sports to be held. The history of the venue goes back to 2003 when the government at the time considered that a new stadium should be built in Western Australia. There was a lot of deliberation until 2007 when it was considered a more viable option than to redevelop the Subiaco Oval. Construction of the new stadium took years, mainly because of local government interference and budget concerns, but was finally open to the public in January of 2018 and a few weeks after, the first Twenty20 cricket match was played between the Perth Scorchers and the English Lions.
The size of the field is 165 m (541 feet) long and 130 m (430 feet) wide, which means it is bigger than both the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Docklands Stadium in Melbourne and it is now host to multiple sporting events such as cricket, rugby, AFL, and soccer. It is situated in a nice destination that boasts the relieving sea breeze from the Indian Ocean, giving a much-welcomed respite from the drastic Australian heat that occurs during the summer months when most of these sports are especially prevalent. The venue has also been host to several major concerts with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Eminem, Taylor Swift, and U2 being among the main draws since 2018.
Getting back to the rugby side of things, it is certainly good to see Perth hosting a State of Origin match because there are a lot of fans in Western Australia, and they should not be denied the chance to attend a game in their home state. Western Australians are just as passionate about sports as anyone else on this island continent and hosting a major sporting event such as the State of Origin doesn’t hurt the tourism sector in the least bit. If you find yourself in Perth during June, then head on over to the Optus Stadium and see Australian sports at its finest.