If you build it, they will come.
That’s the age-old mantra Western Sydney will be banking on after they announced on Monday a 10-year deal to call Bankwest Stadium home.
The Wanderers confirmed all 13 of their home A-League matches, as well as FFA Cup and some W-League games, will be played at the new $300 million venue.
It comes after they have spent their past three seasons at Spotless Stadium and ANZ Stadium, where crowds and performances have hit club lows this campaign.
“The last three years have been very difficult for us. We’ve been wandering around the wilderness for quite a while,” Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer said.
“But it was well worth it. This will allow our fans to experience the best viewing facilities in the world.”
After averaging 17,746 people in 2016-17, the Wanderers’ struggles last season meant only 11,924 people per game came through the gates.
And it has been even worse this summer, with only the hapless Central Coast averaging less than the Wanderers’ 8,490 each home match.
Their famed supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc, refused to be active in Sunday’s draw with Perth due to long-held grievances with authorities.
“The stadiums we played in were reasonable but nothing like this,” Lederer said, referring to the soon to be opened Bankwest Stadium.
“And this is our home ground. It has been the home ground from day one.
“I’m sure our fans will come back. We look forward to the next season.
“I’d like to think our membership will grow, and I think we’ll be one of the largest clubs, if not the largest club in the land.
“The RBB is important to us. Hopefully they will come in numbers.”
After winning just two of their opening 17 games, the Wanderers have found some form to claim two wins and a draw in their past three.
However, with just seven games remaining, they remain long shots to close the gap on the top six and are destined to miss the finals for the third-straight season.
“I don’t want to blame the stadium for their performance. Our performance was mediocre, to be honest,” Lederer said.
NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres said it was an exciting day for the history of Bankwest Stadium, which will have the steepest stands in the country.
“We think this is going to be the best possible fan experience for the Western Sydney Wanderers fans,” Ayres said.
The Wanderers’ first game at Bankwest Stadium will be a friendly match against English side Leeds United on July 20.