The Victorian Government’s commitment to investing in regional cities to make them attractive to work, live and do business in, includes its support for the City of Ballarat’s Eureka Stadium precinct redevelopment.
As part of the redevelopment, Eureka Stadium has been significantly upgraded to meet AFL standards and was officially opened in August 2017.
The upgrade featured:
- a better playing surface with same dimensions as Etihad Stadium
- capacity for 11,000 spectators
- a new 5,025 seat undercover grandstand
- new 37-metre-tall light towers and a new 50-square-metre video scoreboard
- expanded food and beverage services.
The new Eureka Stadium Ballarat will enable the region to attract international events and become part of the regular AFL season thanks to a new ‘home ground’ relationship developed with the Western Bulldogs. The inaugural AFL Premiership League match was played between Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide on Saturday 19 August 2017.
The stadium is part of the Victorian Government’s $38.5 million investment in the Eureka Sports Precinct, which includes $9 million for extra courts at the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre, $5 million for the Ballarat Showgrounds and $2.5 million for C.E. Brown Reserve.
Anthony Schinck from Regional Development Victoria’s Grampians office says this is a significant asset for the town and the liveability of the region – and for locals and visitors alike.
“In order to attract big events to the city you need the infrastructure to host those events – so to achieve that, there needs to be serious infrastructure delivered – which is what we have helped make happen here,” says Anthony.
“To have an elite sport such as AFL playing, now, two of its home-and-away matched here is a huge win for the town – and it wouldn’t have been as easy to secure without the new stadium.”
“Hosting these matches bring people from out of town into the region, creating a new tourism economy, and with the schedule including interstate teams, we also get interstate visitors to Victoria generally.”
“The Regional Development Victoria teams in both Ballarat and Melbourne have put an enormous effort to help make this development happen and ensure it serves the Ballarat community well into the future,” Anthony said.
Around 30 jobs were created and $11 million injected into the regional economy. The stadium is expected to attract around 21,000 more visitors to Ballarat each year by hosting events that would otherwise be in Melbourne or Geelong.
The redevelopment was backed by the Victorian Government’s Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund that is supporting major projects and industries, and at the time of the stadium opening, helped generate more than 4,600 regional jobs.