The $6.6 million transformation of Mars Stadium opens new possibilities to host world-class events in Ballarat, including the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
The transformation of Mars Stadium in Ballarat marks an evolution of a suburban footy ground.
Backed by $6.6 million from the Victorian Government’s Building Works Package, Stage 2 of the stadium upgrade was completed in February 2022 and delivered in partnership with the City of Ballarat.
The completed project opens opportunities for the ground to host a variety of events, including the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
Attracting first class sport
“It’s incredible to think this area is going to be host to the 2026 Commonwealth Games athletics – it’s just mind boggling how much things have transformed from these partnerships we’ve had with the State Government,” City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said.
“Being able to also see the Games here, in a place like Ballarat, is also phenomenal because it means we have access to see some of the world’s best athletes.
“But we also have our boys and our girls grow up and be able to play in the same area as those athletes, knowing they can go on to be some of the nation’s best too.”
New and improved
Improvements at Mars Stadium included new gate entries, new food and beverage outlets, new changerooms, and more accessible seating.
The construction of new concrete terracing on the eastern hill makes game day more comfortable for standing patrons to catch all the action.
The upgrade has also improved the venue for players, with the development of competition-standard, female friendly changerooms.
Fans are already reaping the benefits with the Western Bulldogs extending their commitment to play two AFL games at the 11,000-capacity stadium every year until 2026. The first AFLW match for premiership points took place at Mars Stadium in March 2022.
Meanwhile, North Ballarat Football Club CEO Scott Seward knows just how lucky his club is to call these transformed facilities home.
“We’re lucky, as a club, we’ve certainly noticed the upgrade and to take it to the next step with the shower facilities, the bathroom, the toilets and the ice baths.
“It’s certainly a benefit we have and we’re very conscious of that. Being able to take it to the next level and top it up again is an advantage that we’ve got,” Scott said.
We acknowledge and recognise the Traditional Owners of the land where this stadium is located, the Wadawurrung People.