In an AFL first, reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs will line up for Premiership points against Port Adelaide at Ballarat’s Eureka Stadium in 2017 – bringing the great game to the heart of regional Victoria.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today joined Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight, the Member for Buningyong Geoff Howard, Western Bulldogs Chief Operating Manager Michael Quinn and Bulldogs’ Ballarat Engagement Manager Brett Goodes at the ground to celebrate the release of the 2017 fixture.
The Andrews Labor Government working in partnership with City of Ballarat, the AFL and the Western Bulldogs to bring premiership league games to regional Victoria in a win for fans and the regional economy.
The Bulldogs’ inaugural Ballarat match will be against Port Adelaide in Round 22 and is set to attract thousands visitors to the region – providing economic benefits far beyond the footy field.
This year, the project has already delivered a reoriented and resized playing field, new light towers at the main oval and North Oval 2, installation of structural steel, concrete sections and a lift well for the Eastern Stand.
Over summer, the project will continue to make gains with the warmer weather ensuring the project stays on track for completion ahead of the scheduled game.
Locals can expect to see significant progress with action occurring on the Eastern and Western stands and existing Social Club interchange area over the coming months.
The completed redevelopment will mean more than 5,000 undercover seats and a total stadium capacity of more than 11,000.
The project is expected to create 38 construction jobs, attract an extra 1500 participants per year, draw another 21,000 visitors to Ballarat each year and increase annual tourism spending in the city by up to $3.6 million.
The Labor Government is investing more than $30 million in the Eureka precinct redevelopment, which includes upgrading Eureka Stadium, the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre, the C.E. Brown Reserve and actions to assist the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“This is win for footy, a win for Ballarat, and a win for the fans. Regional Victoria has so much to offer and bringing AFL Premiership games to the country means families, visitors and locals all get the experience.”
Quotes attributable to acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events Philip Dalidakis
“This isn’t just history in the making, it’s a huge boost to Ballarat’s visitor economy. Thousands of footy fans will flock to the city, which is a big win for local small business and tourism operators.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
"Regional Victoria loves its football and it's exciting that the AFL has confirmed the Bulldogs will play a home game in Ballarat next year"
Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
“Ballarat is ready for the big game to make its debut and our revamped Stadium will attract thousands of footy fans to the region each year, supporting local jobs and local businesses.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020