Mars Stadium Ballarat

thegreig

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nah, wont win that argument
its the AFL - A for Australia
Only one West Coast on the whole of Australia. That's where that team represents

IMHO - and I know supporters don't agree, should be West Melbourne (like we have a North Melbourne), or back to Footscray name - which I prefer.
West Vic Bulldogs maybe?... nothing really works well, West Vic-Footscray?
 

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Roogal

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On November 24, 2010 it was announced that North Melbourne were going to play up to four AFL home games in Ballarat in 2012 under a bold proposal put forward by Labor if re-elected. ($30 million into upgrading Eureka Stadium in Ballarat to AFL-standard. $25 million would be used to build a 15,000-seat boutique stadium and upgrade the playing surface.)

In November 2010, Brumby wasnt re-elected.

In December 2010, New Victorian premier Ted Baillieu said the Coalition government would not commit the $30 million pledged by Labor for the project, effectively scuppering any chance of a redevelopment at the venue.

On June 7, 2011, North announced they would play games in Hobart.

In 2014, Labor Opposition leader Daniel Andrews said Ballarat would host at least two Bulldogs premiership season games in Ballarat every year if Labor won the election.
In a nutshell, well summed up :thumbsu:

Labor under Premier Andrews committed to AFL being played at the ground from 2017 and fast tracked the development of its first stage which to see in the flesh is pretty bloody impressive for a regional ground. They are taking a more steady as she goes approach to the ground in relation to its future development having committed $6.2 million in the recent State election to immediately address some of the niggles and bug bares with Stage 1 including the lack of amenities in the standing areas, the construction of a new and covered second gateway and ticket booths, limited expansion of seating and improving lighting. The second stage has commenced planning earlier this year with $500,000 being funded to research usage and needs and compile a report that will provide recommendations and direction for the size and primary focus for Stage 2.
 

Roogal

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What's the point of giving a team an abstract location?
Perhaps because at the time they were the only AFL team in WA when they raised and it was better to harness support from across the Aussie Rules community in WA for a start up team by giving them a name which cast the net as wide as possible but still identified them as being from the West. If they had called them the Perth Eagles then it would have isolated them to Perth and perhaps not garnered support from the 500,000 West Aussies who live outside Perth. It's only a thought. :think:
 

hitthepost

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Actually pretty neutral
Perhaps because at the time they were the only AFL team in WA when they raised and it was better to harness support from across the Aussie Rules community in WA for a start up team by giving them a name which cast the net as wide as possible but still identified them as being from the West. If they had called them the Perth Eagles then it would have isolated them to Perth and perhaps not garnered support from the 500,000 West Aussies who live outside Perth. It's only a thought. :think:
West Coast isn't abstract. It's not specific but west coasts do exist.
Western...well

You can talk about "I play for West Coast" without mentioning Eagles but you can't talk about "I play for Western" without saying "Bulldogs".
 

BlueJet

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But western suburbs of melb? Or adelaide? Or perth? Bris? Syd?
The Dogs are clearly Melbourne based, though, I'm sure that they wouldn't say no to additional members or sponsors from the aforementioned cities.
Ultimately, the title "Western" would reflect that they represent the West of Melbourne.
 

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Perhaps because at the time they were the only AFL team in WA when they raised and it was better to harness support from across the Aussie Rules community in WA for a start up team by giving them a name which cast the net as wide as possible but still identified them as being from the West. If they had called them the Perth Eagles then it would have isolated them to Perth and perhaps not garnered support from the 500,000 West Aussies who live outside Perth. It's only a thought. :think:
There's also an existing WAFL team called Perth, there was no existing SANFL team called "Adelaide" when the Crows started
 

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Rob

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It allows anyone from the Western suburbs (& now districts) to identify with the club, it's possibly also why West Coast isn't just Perth or Subiaco etc.
It doesn't actually work like that. They've been Western for over 20 years now and remain one of the smallest clubs in Melbourne. The name change doesn't appear to have had any (or at best a negligible) impact on supporter numbers. Meanwhile the biggest clubs in Melbourne are those with suburb names where bugger all people reside.
 

The_Wookie

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It doesn't actually work like that. They've been Western for over 20 years now and remain one of the smallest clubs in Melbourne. The name change doesn't appear to have had any (or at best a negligible) impact on supporter numbers. Meanwhile the biggest clubs in Melbourne are those with suburb names where bugger all people reside.
1996 (Footscray) Average Crowd: 18,073
2018 (WesternB) Average Crowd: 25,372 (+30%), Total League (+32%)


1996 (Footscray) Membership: 10,650
2018 (WesternB) Membership: 43,246 (+306%), Total League (+252%)
 

Rob

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1996 (Footscray) Average Crowd: 18,073
2018 (WesternB) Average Crowd: 25,372 (+30%), Total League (+32%)


1996 (Footscray) Membership: 10,650
2018 (WesternB) Membership: 43,246 (+306%), Total League (+252%)
So roughly equivalent to the rest of the league's growth.

I gather they were playing out of the Whitten Oval in 1996?
 

BlueJet

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It doesn't actually work like that. They've been Western for over 20 years now and remain one of the smallest clubs in Melbourne. The name change doesn't appear to have had any (or at best a negligible) impact on supporter numbers. Meanwhile the biggest clubs in Melbourne are those with suburb names where bugger all people reside.
Work like what?
I was merely pointing out what they had attempted to do, whether it worked or not is largely irrelevant to my point.
 

Roogal

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So roughly equivalent to the rest of the league's growth.

I gather they were playing out of the Whitten Oval in 1996?
They switched to Optus Oval (Princess Park) in 1997 in line with the AFL's plan for ground rationalisation. One can't forget that the Bulldogs like my team (North Melbourne) have long been among the smallest of the Melbourne based teams and back in the 90s both the Bulldogs and the Kangaroos both carried high debt and small membership bases. Both clubs were firmly in the firing line for merging with other weaker Melbourne based teams. At the time Footscray were firmly in the AFLs sights for merging with Fitzroy and North with Hawthorn (and later with Melbourne). Footscray were saved by the promise of a new President and business strategy at the time while North Melbourne won the 96 Premiership which bought them some time and breathing space.

The Footscray Football Club knew back then that they couldn't tie their fortunes and future to a suburb of Melbourne which had a population of 57,000 which had a significantly changed demographic. By 1996 Footscray had become filled with Vietnamese migrants and they have in many ways changed the fabric of the Footscray area and perhaps were not likely to be drawn immediately to a foreign football code. Since then Western Melbourne has continued to grow and to be filled with new arrivals from Asia (predominately India, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam). Of course there's nothing wrong in that, but it means that the AFLs former target population of supporters across Western Melbourne has actually reduced as they are drawn traditionally to other sporting codes particularly soccer, hockey and cricket.

The Western Bulldogs read the signs very clearly back in the 90s and cast their net further afield to reach beyond Footscray. To broaden their appeal they re-branded and thus targeted markets in Sunshine, Deer Park, Melton and as far afield as Bacchus Marsh. In the 2000s, new greenfield suburbs have mushroomed Westward and South West of Melbourne largely filled with new immigrants so the Western Bulldogs have had to now look further beyond the limits of the tram tracks if they are to continue to grow their membership. The changed demographic of Western Melbourne is (as I said recently) reflected in the recent announcement of the raising of Melbourne's third A League license to Western Melbourne.

Interestingly, the 2018 Annual Financial Statement from the Western Bulldogs shows that while their overall membership fell by 2,500 between 2017 compared with 2018, that local Ballarat membership grew 14% over the same period.
 
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Kwality

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At least you can go to the West Coast. "Western" without a somewhere is an abstract place.
Abstract or academic, either way its a nonsense. The people that count put their money where their mouth is.

I'm pro the Western Bulldogs name, the old days of inner suburban names is a hangover from the past era of State comps & it having a part in the team that punters supported.
 

rfctiger74

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Abstract or academic, either way its a nonsense. The people that count put their money where their mouth is.

I'm pro the Western Bulldogs name, the old days of inner suburban names is a hangover from the past era of State comps & it having a part in the team that punters supported.
Richmond, north, Bulldogs, Geelong, Melbourne, and carlton are all still based in their named suburb (and Collingwood is only half a click down the road)
 

Kwality

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Richmond, north, Bulldogs, Geelong, Melbourne, and carlton are all still based in their named suburb (and Collingwood is only half a click down the road)
Too true, no different to Adelaide or Perth, but the Western Bulldogs looked to widen the catchment, North tried to run with the Kangaroos in name if nothing else.
 

Roogal

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Name changes are never acceptable to the club purists. Teams like Collingwood, Carlton, Fremantle, Richmond, Hawthorn and Adelaide have wide and established appeal under their names. Each club's boards make their decisions on what they believe is the best thing to do for their respective clubs.

If it can be done in the AFL then I can guarantee that North Melbourne have probably already done it, tested it, and while some of it worked some of it also failed. They have made decisions that the larger AFL club boards would be linched by their supporters for doing. In many ways North have been the boldest and most visionary club in the AFL. Consider that they pioneered Friday Night football and literally made it their own until other clubs finally realised how successful it was. They were the first team to almost entirely import a player list in the 70s which was widely critcised at the time but saw them appear in five five successive grand finals. They pioneered the name change to 'The Kangaroos', they pioneered listing on the Stock Exchange, they gave up Arden Street to become a mobile and exportable brand in Sydney, then the Gold Coast, then Canberra, Albury, Ballarat and finally Hobart. Finally they have tested the waters on Good Friday football.

The Western Bulldogs are a very similar club in terms of their support base, their style of play, their fortunes and failures. Often the Western Bulldogs have looked at what North Melbourne have tried and made a success of and copied (or adopted) the model. It certainly irrated many North Melbourne supporters when the Bulldogs moved into Ballarat in 2015 at a time when North had previously invested 10 years building a strong and highly successful relationship with the North Ballarat Roosters in addition to building a big support base within the Ballarat community which was reflected in the growing crowd numbers at their pre-AFL season games at the then undeveloped Eureka Stadium. Consider that the first NAB cup game in Ballarat drew less tyan 4000 and peaked at around 9000 at their last game.

You don't move into a community over night and expect for the community to automatically embrace you. The relationship is built at the grass roots through the kids primarily. In Ballarat today, the WB brand is being sold and presented in regular clinics at the primary schools, their business and supporter shop is visible and prominent in the CBD. Of course there is the WB branding on fixtures inside and around Mars Stadium itself. This makes an impact on the kids who are the next generation of club members. If the WB win another flag in the next few years then you've won over that entire generation in that community.
 
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Roogal

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Mars Stadium to host Melbourne Rebels practice game on 1st February: :thumbsu:

For the record, a very successful game. ARU Australia and Melbourne Rebels were pleased with the support from what is not a traditional Rugby Union community. They anticipated a crowd to this pre-season game of around 2000 and it seems that the numbers were slightly higher with the crowd definitely favouring the Rebels.
 
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