Mars Stadium Ballarat

Roogal

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Walking out afterwards, it seemed the adjoining North Ballarat FC lights were better than those at MARS. They were on to provide lighting to the car parks and those of us walking past all agreed.
I said earlier this year that the lighting would be a major issue and at least now it's firmly on the radar as a major fix for the stadium. The Mayor conceded that in today's Ballarat Courier stating that increased lux at the ground had to be a priority for any future development. But I think that we all agree that late Sunday afternoon fixturing will not work as it leaves people having to travel home either to Melbourne and Adelaide late on a Sunday which I strongly suspect constrained the numbers. I truly do believe that a late Saturday fixturing would work once the lighting is upgraded. The crappy weather would have also been a major factor deterring people from going into the non-covered areas of the ground. You can't do much about the weather, but it is imperative to get more areas of the facility under cover.
 

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Roogal

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North Ballarat FC and City of Ballarat declare stand-off on Mars - Over


North Ballarat City senior coach Shane Skontra on Mars.

A LONG-running leasehold saga between the City of Ballarat and North Ballarat Football Club has reached a compromise.

Both parties announced on Friday they had settled a long-term lease agreement on commercial terms after more than 18 months’ negotiations since the City compulsory acquired Mars Stadium land from the club. The lease is $440,000 per year and includes the North Ballarat Sports Club and change rooms. The length of the lease was not made clear.

City of Ballarat made a $5.5 million takeover bid in February last year when the then-North Ballarat board was in the midst of turmoil and the City was preparing to host its first AFL premiership season game in a redeveloped Mars Stadium.

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North Ballarat chairman John Nevett said the club was satisfied with the outcome, which secured the long-term future of the growing football-netball club, the sports club members and staff. “When the compulsory acquisition was issued, there was a lot of tension among the board and members about losing their freehold right, was it justified, and there’s a lot of emotion in all that,” Mr Nevett said. “When I came on as chairman I said it was not going to be an easy time, it could take two or three years to maybe settle...We’ve got to a position where everyone can be confident moving forward.”


The ground and parts of the changerooms were already Crown land but the City acquired the remaining precinct, including the gaming and dining rooms and the car park, which were on the freehold title held by the club. A key sticking point was a separate 970-square-metre plot, including parts of the main building and Mars Stadium, covered by a Crown lease to which North Ballarat has secured in 2014 for 21 years.

In a joint statement, Mr Nevett and Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the new lease agreement resolves outstanding concerns. Mr Nevett and Cr McIntosh said both parties had entered a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop community infrastructure in the precinct, including netball, cricket and football.

Mr Nevett said the agreements would have no impact on TAC Cup development program Greater Western Victoria Rebels, who were based at Mars Stadium. He hoped the agreement would serve to improve relations with both the City and Rebels moving forward. Cr McIntosh said there had been lots of complications in the lengthy lease process but it would help to ensure a bright future for health and activity within the community club. She said it was important for North Ballarat to retain its traditional presence at the venue.

Now the lease was set, Cr McIntosh said the City hoped future investment in Mars Stadium, for elite and community sport, would be attractive to all sides of politics leading into the November state election. Meanwhile, Mr Nevett flagged now the lease agreement was settled, it could flag the return of a Victorian Football League club in Ballarat. The Roosters program folded last year. Mr Nevett maintained any potential new VFL club would not be a North Ballarat team.
 

hitthepost

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I doubt it, it doesn't have media facilities positioned appropriately for cricket and its lighting is hopeless.
Alice Springs and formerly Etihad had square-on commentary positions, and lighting is pretty much not an issue for day games :p
 

Roogal

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Would love to see a big bash game at mars, is that on the cards at all?
There will be a female BB game in Ballarat at the Eastern Oval this summer, although the Renegades came out last week and expressed their interest in playing at Mars in the future. The Eastern Oval is Ballarat's premier cricket oval, and is getting new Class 2B lighting in 2019.

I'd like to see it but Mars does still need a lot more work on its expansion and lighting. The $500,000 planning study for future development which was funded in the 2018 State Budget was completed in August and I have it on good authority from a person closely associated with Mars Stadium management on the Ballarat Council that the study was conducted by a local legal firm and recommends significant lighting upgrade, upgrade to female athlete amenities, increased capacity and improved PT access as their main priorities. He wasn't forthcoming on the details of the scale of the upgrades but assured me that they took recommendations from major user stakeholders and that the details of the study have been forwarded back to the government.
 
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Roogal

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I doubt it, it doesn't have media facilities positioned appropriately for cricket and its lighting is hopeless.
The position of the pitch is not an issue because provision was made for a drop in wicket when the oval was rebuilt in 2016 and it was positioned to align with the media centre. The lighting does remain an issue. At present they would need to double the number of lights on each tower (currently 21) and add perhaps two more towers to get lighting to the required TV broadcast standard.
 

Pakenhamsaint

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Alice Springs and formerly Etihad had square-on commentary positions, and lighting is pretty much not an issue for day games :p
Marvel(Etihad) They just pinch a corporate box and turn it into a commentary box.
 

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Roogal

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2019 AFL Fixtures at Mars:
  • Sunday 10th March - 1.45pm Western Bulldogs v Saint Kilda (JLT Series) - Note: Victorian Labor Day Long Weekend
  • Saturday 11th May - 1.45pm Western Bulldogs v Brisbane (Round 8)
  • Saturday 24th August - 1.45pm Western Bulldogs v Adelaide (Round 23)
 

thegreig

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2019 AFL Fixtures at Mars:
  • Sunday 10th March - 1.45pm Western Bulldogs v Saint Kilda (JLT Series) - Note: Victorian Labor Day Long Weekend
  • Saturday 11th May - 1.45pm Western Bulldogs v Brisbane (Round 8)
  • Saturday 24th August - 1.45pm Western Bulldogs v Adelaide (Round 23)
I thought the dogs were playing three home and away games a season in Ballarat? Or is that the plan for the future
 

Roogal

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I thought the dogs were playing three home and away games a season in Ballarat? Or is that the plan for the future
The Wookie is correct, two H&A games per year. :thumbsu:
 

Fizzler

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Shame that Port are out of the Ballarat thing. Wanted to go the past 2 years but had my own games on. We probably do enough travel as it is though with China and not being from Victoria.
 

Silent Alarm

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Ballarat should have made this a square ground and locked themselves in an A-League club.
 

radiojake

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looks like i'll be jumping on the V-Line out to Ballarat next August....
 

Silent Alarm

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looks like i'll be jumping on the V-Line out to Ballarat next August....
I really don't get it. They ignore the beautiful old ground with the two classic grandstands – which would look quaint on TV – and build somewhere else. But the somewhere else they chose is an oval well out of town. What's the point? People are going to go once, realise it's a pain in the arse, and not bother. If you're able to get on a train by 9, be there by 10:30, have some lunch and wander around, be at the ground by 2, then home by 7 on a Saturday you'd do it. You're probably even going to have a countery or a few drinks after the game too.

Strange decision.
 

hitthepost

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I really don't get it. They ignore the beautiful old ground with the two classic grandstands – which would look quaint on TV – and build somewhere else. But the somewhere else they chose is an oval well out of town. What's the point? People are going to go once, realise it's a pain in the arse, and not bother. If you're able to get on a train by 9, be there by 10:30, have some lunch and wander around, be at the ground by 2, then home by 7 on a Saturday you'd do it. You're probably even going to have a countery or a few drinks after the game too.

Strange decision.
It's not about looking quaint, it's about looking like you got quality facilities.
 

radiojake

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I really don't get it. They ignore the beautiful old ground with the two classic grandstands – which would look quaint on TV – and build somewhere else. But the somewhere else they chose is an oval well out of town. What's the point? People are going to go once, realise it's a pain in the arse, and not bother. If you're able to get on a train by 9, be there by 10:30, have some lunch and wander around, be at the ground by 2, then home by 7 on a Saturday you'd do it. You're probably even going to have a countery or a few drinks after the game too.

Strange decision.
oh so it's not easily accessible via train? can't say I've looked at the map
 

Silent Alarm

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It's not about looking quaint, it's about looking like you got quality facilities.
Looking like you have quality facilities or having quality facilities?

I understand it's a general ground for a big regional centre, and a place to host local Grand Finals and events. First and foremost that's it role.

But in terms of the AFL, how appealing really is it? It's a nice little boutique stadium but once you've been will you really go again? It has a lot going against it: the Bulldogs have a small supporter base so need to latch on, the opposition is always irrelevant, it's freezing cold, and it's ages away from bars and restaurants. Watching it on TV there isn't much appeal to the average punter.

If they had it at the city oval you immediately see those grandstands and go, jeez, that's a beautiful ground... I'll go up there one weekend or if you're a Port/Giants/Freo supporter, think 'that's looked great on tele, I might go over for that for a footy weekend.'

As it is now it's had very average returns and not much appeal.



This is where you'd make an exception and go out your way to see an AFL game at.
 
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