I went to the final of the Hopman Cup last night. Everyone seemed to be there to cheer Djockovic & Ivanovic at first, and Djokovic won his game against Verdasco, but Anabel Medina Garrigues fought gamely to defeat Ivanovic and the feeling in the Arena changed a little, with many many people supporting Spain. In fact the Anabel Medina Garrigues vs Ana Ivanovic match lasted for hours and pushed the end time of the match back to the wee hours of the morning.
All of the players seemed impressed with the size of the crowd, Anabel and Novac both said they thought the crowd was like being at a Grand Slam. It was pretty much a sell out.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand, bike parking. As the Arena is pretty much brand-spanking-new it reflects some of the ‘newer’ philosophy that people need to be encouraged to walk, cycle and take public transport to big events. That means that there is bike parking provided in the underground car park.
It’s pretty easy to get in there from the ‘old Entertainment Centre overpass’ – after you cross over the rail line, there’s now a little street that runs down the side of the Arena down to the car park.
There were only four bikes down there for a sell out crowd and we were responsible for two of them – though I think some of this is because it hasn’t been promoted!
There is space for about 4 or 5 bikes near Entrance B above ground, and that bike rack filled up as we were waiting in the queue to go in. There were also 4 or so bikes chained up to random objects. I suspect that these people didn’t know there was another bike rack available.
The racks themselves are the ‘corkscrew type’ which they already have in Northbridge. They do look kind of pretty but they are a bit awkward to use when compared to plain old U-racks which are still the most practical bike rack design that I have used.
When it was time to leave the underground car park, hundreds of other people were also leaving in their cars. One of the staff informed us that the ‘in’ ramp had been closed to traffic so we could use that without joining the queue of cars. This was great because my opposite number has a sore knee at the moment and has real trouble riding up inclines at any speed. After we rode up the ‘in’ ramp, we simply crossed the road to the overpass and home via the PSP, bypassing all the traffic jams and avoiding the train station at 2am on a Sunday morning.
I am going to see Pink at the Arena in the very near future so we will see if there are more patrons using the bike parking then.
It is certainly a great improvement on Burswood Dome (where we locked our bikes to the railing of a stairwell last time), and Subiaco Oval (where we usually find a random pole).
So next time you go to see something at Perth Arena, consider cycling there.