Western Bulldogs and their partnership with Ballarat a success

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CarnTheScray

Club Legend
Jun 4, 2019
2,513
3,038
Bevo Bunker
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Gezus mate save your energy arguing with that one. When pressed the detractors never present a viable financial alternative when asked for an alternative to Ballarat. The nay sayers to Ballarat live in a dream world in thinking that limiting the club's boundaries and fortunes to Melbourne, that the club is going to magically conjure up 10,000 extra members and somehow still generate an extra couple of million dollars each year. There's no point trying to convince anybody that is highly argumentative and irrational.
Yeah I figured there would be no end to the arguing with him haha
 

CarnTheScray

Club Legend
Jun 4, 2019
2,513
3,038
Bevo Bunker
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Or anyone that Downright lies from day one about why it cares about this rubbish game.

How’s those over 4000 new Ballarat members you pulled out of your butt helping us? 😂😂😂😂😂

You don’t respond to me because I point out your lie after lie and you have no response to it so hide behind calling me irrational. Maybe do by you are a liar and you know it.

Hopefully the dogs can continue to prosper and dump this thing ASAP
Explain to me how we will benefit if we ditch Ballarat?
 

Sentinel

Premiership Player
Mar 15, 2012
4,496
12,782
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Once more I will explain my issues with this thing and hopefully people understand(don’t have to agree) my opinion

I have NO problem with a financial only agreement and the club admit that to a point but try to cloud it with talk of increased membership, exposure and community interaction.
Ballarat has gained us next to no increase in membership, no more exposure and in fact our Melb fans have made it blatantly clear they have next to no interest in attending and we as a club do no more community based activities in Ballarat than we do anywhere else.

Ballarat are only interested in us being there so they can leverage the government to build a bigger stadium for god knows what reason? Do we plan to okay more games up there? Why on gods earth would we do that?

I want our club to stop selling games to anywhere. While we do this we will continue to be classified as a minnow and we cannot argue that point. I’d rather stay in Melbourne and push the AFL for a far better Marvel deal.

I also have absolutely no interest in supporting a team that plays out of Ballarat
I disgree with a few points there.

Membership gains as a direct result of the Ballarat move are difficult to quantify precisely and I have no idea what the immediate effects have been, if any. But we might also see a positive impact longer term if impressionable local kids start supporting the club and later sign up. This is a result of the games and also community engagement, which is greater than where we do elsewhere perhaps with the exception of what's done in the western suburbs. Unless we've lost any significant number of Melbourne members on the back of Ballarat, that's a positive.

Nobody likes having to sell games, in a perfect world we'd play every home game at Marvel. But for now we are a smaller club, and I'm fairly sure that without Ballarat we wouldn't be debt free and able to get through the current mess so easily (relatively speaking). Hawthorn sell plenty more games to Tassie than we do Ballarat, are they a 'minnow' club?

Finally, whilst we are playing in Ballarat, I'd certainly hope we are still continuing to push for a better deal at Marvel which would ultimately mean we can scrap the need to sell games anywhere (including Ballarat). But for now, get used to it.
 

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Sharkey66

Premiership Player
May 7, 2011
3,462
2,263
Boronia
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I disgree with a few points there.

Membership gains as a direct result of the Ballarat move are difficult to quantify precisely and I have no idea what the immediate effects have been, if any. But we might also see a positive impact longer term if impressionable local kids start supporting the club and later sign up. This is a result of the games and also community engagement, which is greater than where we do elsewhere perhaps with the exception of what's done in the western suburbs. Unless we've lost any significant number of Melbourne members on the back of Ballarat, that's a positive.

Nobody likes having to sell games, in a perfect world we'd play every home game at Marvel. But for now we are a smaller club, and I'm fairly sure that without Ballarat we wouldn't be debt free and able to get through the current mess so easily (relatively speaking). Hawthorn sell plenty more games to Tassie than we do Ballarat, are they a 'minnow' club?

Finally, whilst we are playing in Ballarat, I'd certainly hope we are still continuing to push for a better deal at Marvel which would ultimately mean we can scrap the need to sell games anywhere (including Ballarat). But for now, get used to it.
Exactly this.
We are very unlikely to get adult fans to change clubs but we stand a good chance of getting their kids, so it needs to be looked at long term with regards to membership. int wont happen in one or two years.
With regards to selling the games to ballarat, well we have to replace the cash from pokies that we no longer have.
 

Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
17,579
16,972
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I disgree with a few points there.

Membership gains as a direct result of the Ballarat move are difficult to quantify precisely and I have no idea what the immediate effects have been, if any. But we might also see a positive impact longer term if impressionable local kids start supporting the club and later sign up. This is a result of the games and also community engagement, which is greater than where we do elsewhere perhaps with the exception of what's done in the western suburbs. Unless we've lost any significant number of Melbourne members on the back of Ballarat, that's a positive.

Nobody likes having to sell games, in a perfect world we'd play every home game at Marvel. But for now we are a smaller club, and I'm fairly sure that without Ballarat we wouldn't be debt free and able to get through the current mess so easily (relatively speaking). Hawthorn sell plenty more games to Tassie than we do Ballarat, are they a 'minnow' club?

Finally, whilst we are playing in Ballarat, I'd certainly hope we are still continuing to push for a better deal at Marvel which would ultimately mean we can scrap the need to sell games anywhere (including Ballarat). But for now, get used to it.
Mate I would imagine a very large number of children end up supporting the teams their parents support or it’s awful to say one of the bigger teams that are in their faces constantly.

Ballarat is not a “new” AFL area. A lot of people have lived their for many many years and already have teams and are not changing to us because we play two token games a year there against rubbish opposition most times.

So explain to me what the endgame with this venture is? More games in Ballarat because I can tell you now if they do that they will lose more members than they pick up.

In the end as I’ve said 10000 times I can’t stand the idea but understand the financial motivation and I’m saying I would still dump it. Play all games at home, absolutely paste the REAL AREA we belong to that has 192283384 young families and kids growing up(more than Ballarat. Oils ever hope to have) and try and build that way.

Demand a better deal at Marvel or more high attending games and if we need a handout well stuff sh!t, 3/4 of the teams beg for money. I’d rather do that than play two rubbish games that imo open is up to a long term relocation or game sharing model that I will be no part of.
 

Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
17,579
16,972
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Exactly this.
We are very unlikely to get adult fans to change clubs but we stand a good chance of getting their kids, so it needs to be looked at long term with regards to membership. int wont happen in one or two years.
With regards to selling the games to ballarat, well we have to replace the cash from pokies that we no longer have.
So just drive through the fastest growing area in Australia with so many young families it’s not funny to an old country town with already set support of teams long term?

With respect I honestly cant work out this thinking mate. We are and always will be Footscray representing the Western suburbs of Melbourne, that’s out home, that’s out heart and that’s were we should be putting every resource we have.

I couldn’t give two cents about Ballarat wanting time build a bigger better stadium that they will NEVER fill For anything.

Ps I’ve spent a lot of time in Ballarat for work over the last year and not seen a single bulldog ad, poster, sign,flag or jumper. NOT ONE
 

Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
17,579
16,972
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I disgree with a few points there.

Membership gains as a direct result of the Ballarat move are difficult to quantify precisely and I have no idea what the immediate effects have been, if any. But we might also see a positive impact longer term if impressionable local kids start supporting the club and later sign up. This is a result of the games and also community engagement, which is greater than where we do elsewhere perhaps with the exception of what's done in the western suburbs. Unless we've lost any significant number of Melbourne members on the back of Ballarat, that's a positive.

Nobody likes having to sell games, in a perfect world we'd play every home game at Marvel. But for now we are a smaller club, and I'm fairly sure that without Ballarat we wouldn't be debt free and able to get through the current mess so easily (relatively speaking). Hawthorn sell plenty more games to Tassie than we do Ballarat, are they a 'minnow' club?

Finally, whilst we are playing in Ballarat, I'd certainly hope we are still continuing to push for a better deal at Marvel which would ultimately mean we can scrap the need to sell games anywhere (including Ballarat). But for now, get used to it.

And then let’s imagine in some fairy land that this game actually takes off and they build a 30-40 seat stadium.

Why would they do that unless they want MORE games? Do you want to play more games there?
Are you happy to pay for a 7 game membership while the demons and saints play 11 Melbourne games?
Do you think members will be happy with that?


It won’t happen because apart from the pay out the games have been Basically failures On and off field but what in the end game to this charade and are you happy to accept losing half the game out club play to a joint that NO ONE wants to go in winter and if not playing the very I lotta time last games of a season up there leading into finals?
 

CarnTheScray

Club Legend
Jun 4, 2019
2,513
3,038
Bevo Bunker
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Mate I would imagine a very large number of children end up supporting the teams their parents support or it’s awful to say one of the bigger teams that are in their faces constantly.

Ballarat is not a “new” AFL area. A lot of people have lived their for many many years and already have teams and are not changing to us because we play two token games a year there against rubbish opposition most times.

So explain to me what the endgame with this venture is? More games in Ballarat because I can tell you now if they do that they will lose more members than they pick up.

In the end as I’ve said 10000 times I can’t stand the idea but understand the financial motivation and I’m saying I would still dump it. Play all games at home, absolutely paste the REAL AREA we belong to that has 192283384 young families and kids growing up(more than Ballarat. Oils ever hope to have) and try and build that way.

Demand a better deal at Marvel or more high attending games and if we need a handout well stuff sh!t, 3/4 of the teams beg for money. I’d rather do that than play two rubbish games that imo open is up to a long term relocation or game sharing model that I will be no part of.
You are very right in that statement. Which is why we need to be successful on-field in the coming years (a different discussion altogether). But if we are successful on the field and financially, we will grow not only in Melbourne but far out west at Ballarat.
 

CarnTheScray

Club Legend
Jun 4, 2019
2,513
3,038
Bevo Bunker
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
That's the one thing that keeps me optimistic but also angry about our club. Everything is lined up for us. We have a growth corridor in the growing and newly developing western suburbs, we have talent, the club is being run better than it ever has been. The only thing we need is on-field success.
 

Sentinel

Premiership Player
Mar 15, 2012
4,496
12,782
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
And then let’s imagine in some fairy land that this game actually takes off and they build a 30-40 seat stadium.

Why would they do that unless they want MORE games? Do you want to play more games there?
Are you happy to pay for a 7 game membership while the demons and saints play 11 Melbourne games?
Do you think members will be happy with that?


It won’t happen because apart from the pay out the games have been Basically failures On and off field but what in the end game to this charade and are you happy to accept losing half the game out club play to a joint that NO ONE wants to go in winter and if not playing the very I lotta time last games of a season up there leading into finals?
I couldn't care less what City of Ballarat's intentions are, provided we aren't forcibly dragged into any deal on the back of it (like we were with the original dodgy Colonial Stadium deal).

As I said I'd prefer we play all games in Melbourne, in a perfect world, but I'm not overly fussed with selling 2 games per year to Ballarat if the club deems it necessary and my opinion is that the benefits do outweigh the costs. It wouldn't bother me much at all if that continued to happen beyond the short term too.

That said, I would question more and more each additional game above the current 2 per year, IF it happens (which at the moment it isn't). I don't want us to end up selling more than 2 per year but the economic climate has changed considerably since the beginning of the year so who knows what's around the corner. Ballarat to me is infinitely better than selling games to Darwin, Canberra or Cairns because at least it makes sense if we are targeting the western corridor (beyond the current boundary of suburban Melbourne) and city members can still attend without much more trouble than if they wanted to watch an away game in Geelong.

Overall, I remain supportive of the Ballarat deal but that's subject to change if the terms do.

BTW, and this is only anecdotal, I am a Bulldogs supporter purely due to a clinic the club put on at my school when I was at the right age. That's why I think Ballarat has legs when looking at longer term membership growth.
 

Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
17,579
16,972
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I couldn't care less what City of Ballarat's intentions are, provided we aren't forcibly dragged into any deal on the back of it (like we were with the original dodgy Colonial Stadium deal).

As I said I'd prefer we play all games in Melbourne, in a perfect world, but I'm not overly fussed with selling 2 games per year to Ballarat if the club deems it necessary and my opinion is that the benefits do outweigh the costs. It wouldn't bother me much at all if that continued to happen beyond the short term too.

That said, I would question more and more each additional game above the current 2 per year, IF it happens (which at the moment it isn't). I don't want us to end up selling more than 2 per year but the economic climate has changed considerably since the beginning of the year so who knows what's around the corner. Ballarat to me is infinitely better than selling games to Darwin, Canberra or Cairns because at least it makes sense if we are targeting the western corridor (beyond the current boundary of suburban Melbourne) and city members can still attend without much more trouble than if they wanted to watch an away game in Geelong.

Overall, I remain supportive of the Ballarat deal but that's subject to change if the terms do.

BTW, and this is only anecdotal, I am a Bulldogs supporter purely due to a clinic the club put on at my school when I was at the right age. That's why I think Ballarat has legs when looking at longer term membership growth.
And that’s part of my issue with the club

I live in a prime target area of the western suburbs and how many clinics have the bulldogs out on at my children’s school in their total of 9 years at the school?

Exactly ZERO

Why not? It makes no sense at all and it’s not good enough.
 

Sentinel

Premiership Player
Mar 15, 2012
4,496
12,782
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
And that’s part of my issue with the club

I live in a prime target area of the western suburbs and how many clinics have the bulldogs out on at my children’s school in their total of 9 years at the school?

Exactly ZERO

Why not? It makes no sense at all and it’s not good enough.
I agree here.

I don't know exactly how much the Dogs do in terms of school visits but a little goes a very long way with school kids.

It's a particularly cheap and effective means to gain future members and should be done more where possible.
 

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Mattdougie

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 29, 2013
17,579
16,972
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I agree here.

I don't know exactly how much the Dogs do in terms of school visits but a little goes a very long way with school kids.

It's a particularly cheap and effective means to gain future members and should be done more where possible.
I can’t speak for other schools in the area so they may just be the outrider, but I doubt it.

The weird things also Is as far as I’m aware they have only done one junior club clinic at the biggest Junior club in the area in the same time period.

I’m actually stunned they aren’t all over my area and surrounds like a rash
 

dogwatch

Premium Platinum
Jun 17, 2009
21,196
32,190
Canberra
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
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I assume we are contractually obliged if we want the cash from it.
Equally we might ask is Ballarat contractually obliged to us if there won't be any spectators (ie retail revenue for Ballarat)?

I guess a visiting interstate team will still need at least one night's accommodation and meals for 30+ players and officials, and probably the sports journos and TV crews will as well. That's not like having 2-3 thousand cashed-up visitors but it's better than nothing and the continuity of the partnershipwill be important. It might be important for the Dogs too if we want to continue building our profile and proving our commitment to the region.
 

Northernsoul74

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 19, 2016
8,654
12,213
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Equally we might ask is Ballarat contractually obliged to us if there won't be any spectators (ie retail revenue for Ballarat)?

I guess a visiting interstate team will still need at least one night's accommodation and meals for 30+ players and officials, and probably the sports journos and TV crews will as well. That's not like having 2-3 thousand cashed-up visitors but it's better than nothing and the continuity of the partnershipwill be important. It might be important for the Dogs too if we want to continue building our profile and proving our commitment to the region.
Yeah it’s an odd one. Would Ballarat want to pay us for the privilege of hosting 2 games behind closed doors.
 

cecil

Club Legend
Feb 28, 2010
1,666
1,771
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
This could be our best chance to see our team live this season with the new govt guidelines.
Was just thinking this! Looks like there are 6000 seats, so 1500 people could attend under the revised guidelines within weeks. Expect both of our games to be there in the next phase of the fixture release.

Would be funny (albeit terrible for us) if they ended up our 2 biggest drawing games....
 

Dogs 13

Premiership Player
Nov 13, 2003
4,049
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Werribee
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Was just thinking this! Looks like there are 6000 seats, so 1500 people could attend under the revised guidelines within weeks. Expect both of our games to be there in the next phase of the fixture release.

Would be funny (albeit terrible for us) if they ended up our 2 biggest drawing games....
Two games there in the middle of winter, surely not especially after that awful day we had there in July 2018.
 

Roogal

Club Legend
Dec 7, 2016
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North Melbourne
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The good news is ...

Cash for Mars Stadium's Stage 2 upgrade is now flowing. While these upgrades won't result in increased capacity or improvement to the lighting (which remain major sticking points that are likely to be addressed post 2021), this $6.6 million upgrade will deliver new permanent food outlets, permanent toilet facilities at the SE end of the ground, new permanent covered entrances and improved ticketing facilities at Gates 1 and 2 on Creswick Road. There will be more disabled access and seating in the existing stands, and the re-building of player facilities to accommodate female athletes. So far the Ballarat Council have recently released approx $3 million in tenders supporting these Stage 2 works. It is likely that some works will have been completed by the beginning of the next football season and all works completed by the end of 2021. Fans attending games at the ground will be able to check-in easier, faster and under cover, buy their food from fixed outlets (although food vans will remain for added flavour), and the hated Port-a-loos at the SE end of the ground will be permanently gone.

Stage 2 is all about addressing many of the shortcomings, gripes and grumbles of Stage 1 which saw a very basic boutique stadium designed, approved and built in an astonishing 14 months on a very meagre $15.3 million (Although the real cost including the re-build of the 2 ovals brought the final Stage 1 closer to $21.9 million). As I said back in 2017 when the ground was initially finished. Fans attending the ground shouldn't expect an Etihad Stadium experience, and my predictions proved correct. While people still seem to be happy to stand on the hill in a nostalgic nod back to the good old days of footy in the 70s, and happy to buy an increased variety of foods from local food vans, and particularly to buy full strength beer in cans :thumbsu:, those attending AFL games still have to endure it's limitations.

The venue's shortcomings were quickly exposed in July 2018 when Ballarat's Winter weather fully gnashed its teeth in a day of 4 degree icy winds, sleet, hail and rain coupled with dull temporary lighting that struggled to penetrate it's way through the inclement conditions to reach the playing field. That was the Ballarat Council's bell-weather moment when they realised that they had to get serious about further improvements to take the ground from being the best stadium in "regional" Victoria, and upgrade it to meet the expectations of Victorian fans accustomed to walking off a train platform and virtually straight into the comfort of Marvel Stadium or the MCG.

The Ballarat Council are still actively advocating for further major upgrades post 2021/22 for more covered seating, enhanced lighting and an aspirational capacity for 15,000 (+) spectators (Note: The WBFC have previously stated that they would ideally like the ground to have a capacity for 20,000 with at least 10,000 seats). The Ballarat Council envision the ground being used year round for AFL/BFNL/CHFL games during the football months and for concerts, Rugby Union, Cricket and other public/civic events throughout the remainder of the year.

2022 looks like shaping up as the year when Stage 3 development is likely to be announced. With Stage 2 works completed, that is the year that the Bulldogs would be playing their final contracted rounds of games under the present agreements in Ballarat. Further, it will be a State Election year and the State Government would likely announce new building works at the ground coupled with an extension of an AFL contract out to 2028, as well as other major building works in Ballarat as many of their existing state funded projects around the city currently under construction are completed.
 
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Roogal

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Dec 7, 2016
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By 2021 fans will see tangible changes at Ballarat's Mars Stadium and some they won't see:

Mars Stadium's Stage 2 works have now commenced. Ballarat firm GIQ constructions have commenced the $600,000 upgrade of change rooms to accommodate AFLW requirements and will be finished by December increasing Ballarat's chances of hosting future AFLW games. Tenders have been awarded for the construction of two new covered entrances at Gates 1 and 2 facing the Midland Highway at the ground's Northern and Southern entrances. The construction tender for the second (Southern) entrance includes permanent toilets that will service the people on the main standing terrace. New food and beverage outlets are to be constructed under the main grandstand.

Four days ago the Ballarat Council called for tenders to upgrade the grassed standing hills. The tender for the main hill upgrade stipulates construction of concrete terracing and pedestrian access to the existing earth berm including rear stair access. A second tender has called for expansion of an existing earth terrace. So at least we will likely see some expansion of capacity as well.

I envisage that the hill at Mars Stadium will eventually resemble something akin to the Northern end of the Adelaide Oval, a mixture of terraced seating and grassed standing room. Peter Gordon may well get his wish for fire pits on the hill :)

These Stage 2 upgrades address many of the immediate gripes with the facility that could not have been addressed with the initial build due to its budgetary constraints at the time. Future stage upgrades beyond 2022 are likely to focus upon extension and expansion of the existing stands to add a further 6,500 seats and the upgrading of lighting to Digital TV Broadcast standard. Not that we would expect the AFL to schedule night games there, but the upgraded lighting is the Ballarat Council's preference because it allows the arena to be lit up even when the weather is inclement, but further because they want the arena to host BBL and to boost its chances as one of the primary arena's for the Victorian Regional Councils bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games. It is likely that Ballarat would push to host the Rugby 7's. Under the Comm Games proposal Kardinia Park would host the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

Of course if you travel to the footy in Ballarat by train you will see some noticeable differences in the city. One block from the railway station the new GovHub has mushroomed over the last several months and is probably now the biggest building in the city and will house about 700 office workers when finished in early 2021:

Ballarat-GovHub-Mass-Timber-CLT-Vistek-scaled.jpg


Immediately to the North of the main railway station, the new Quest Apartments Hotel, Convention Centre and bus interchange are on track to be completed by the commencement of the 2021 football season:

ballarat_station_render_external_ne_perspective_.jpg


Quest-Ballarat.jpg


 
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