Ballarat to benefit from newly named Mars Stadium10/07/2017
Work is on track to deliver the world-class stadium that Ballarat deserves. When complete, the newly named Mars Stadium will mean teams like the Western Bulldogs can hit the paddock in Ballarat and bring more visitors to regional Victoria.
The Victorian Government’s commitment to encouraging sport in regional cities includes its support for the City of Ballarat’s Mars Stadium precinct redevelopment.
The Government has invested $31.5 million in the overall precinct redevelopment, provided through the $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which was established to support major projects, and create jobs and industries in regional Victoria.
Now known as the Mars Stadium thanks to the support of its naming sponsor, Mars Australia, the redeveloped stadium will feature a main ground with a new playing surface the same size as Etihad Stadium, a new grandstand with 5000 undercover seats, player facilities, merchandise and food stalls, and universal-access toilets. A video scoreboard has recently been completed and is now operational.
The project is on track to create 38 construction jobs and is expected to increase tourism to Ballarat by drawing 21,000 visitors to the city and increasing the annual tourism spend by up to $3.6 million annually.
With a capacity of more than 11,000, the new stadium will also cater for international acts and tournaments, attracting events to the region that would otherwise have to be held only in Melbourne or Geelong. This includes bringing AFL games to Ballarat, the first of which will be the Western Bulldogs versus Port Adelaide in Round 22 on Saturday 19 August 2017. Two AFL Premiership matches will also be held in Ballarat from 2018 onward.
The combination of new venue and high profile AFL sporting events will encourage visitors from around Victoria and interstate, boost jobs, increase retail spending and strengthen the overall regional economy.