Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says Perth has made a compelling case to be the site of an NRL expansion team after the roaring success of the season-opening double header.
A bumper crowd of 38,824 was in attendance at the new Optus Stadium on Saturday to see the Warriors give their fans hope they'd turned a corner with a 32-20 defeat of South Sydney and Melbourne kickstart their premiership defence with a 36-18 win over Canterbury.
Despite concerns about the hardness of the pitch, the $1.5 billion stadium was given glowing reviews by all involved.
The state of the art facilities put Sydney's dated Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium to shame and made a strong case for NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian's stadia investment policy.
Expansion has been put firmly on the agenda by new ARLC chairman Peter Beattie and Perth is widely considered one of the leading contenders.
While the Western Reds were wound up at the conclusion of the Super League war in the late 90s, Saturday's crowd showed rugby league had a firm hold in the west.
"I don't know whether expansion is on the menu or if it's not, but after tonight you'd say yes without a doubt," Bellamy said when asked if Perth should be the site for expansion.
"Then people would bring up another Brisbane side or another New Zealand side or whatever."
For years the Storm have been at the forefront of the NRL's drive into AFL territory and Bellamy said there was enough to suggest the game was well supported in Western Australia.
"We've been over here nearly a week and it's been a very enjoyable five days," Bellamy said.
"We've worked reasonably hard and the West Australian people have been very friendly and welcoming.
"And this stadium is one hell of a stadium."
An Ed Sheeran concert last week and recent cricket matches led to questions about whether the Optus Stadium pitch would hold up for a rugby league game, however, Storm skipper Cameron Smith said he had no problems.
"We found it was quite firm yesterday in the captain's run, I don't know if they put some work into it but it seemed a little softer under foot," he said.
"It was certainly very good for our speedsters, when Josh Addo-Carr got a couple of lose balls or (Cameron) Munster was in the clear, it was good for those boys.
"That was just the conditions, it's a great surface."