Western Bulldogs and their partnership with Ballarat a success

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Mattdougie

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Jun 29, 2013
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I agree that the crowd sizes might seem small but for four out of the five games held there so far, the ground has been at 80-97% capacity with exception of that seriously badly scheduled twillight game played in the dead of Winter on a Sunday in 2018 and 6,400 odd brave souls out of the 8000 bookings actually attended. The AFL and the club learned their lesson there. I maintain that it is the ground's artificially small capacity of 11,000 which means that all who attend must book to go as an artificial crowd control measure. There's presently no walk up general entry because of the 11,000 capacity limit. The capacity has been constrained at 11,000 because of the lack of permanent amenities and permanent ticketing entry facilities. There is sufficient room in the standing area to easily accommodate a further 2000 but the entire area has until now been serviced by portaloos and temporary food trucks. With construction presently underway of the two new permanent entry gates, partial concreting of about 50% of the hill, and new toilets they may revise the crowd limits for the standing areas later this year. Also later in the year new permanent food and beverage outlets will be added to the built areas of the ground.

Will these changes be enough to keep the Bulldogs interested and re-commiting beyond 2022? Personally I'd like to see the club make their stay in Ballarat beyond 2022 conditional on upgrades to the lighting and construction of a second stand. On the subject of WBFC advertising, one would have to be Stevie Wonder to miss all of the Western Bulldogs banners during the footy season that adorn flag poles on the Melbourne approaches, along the Midland Highway (from the North) and along Victoria and Sturt Streets as visitors enter and drive around the city. But ... oh well, some people walk around with their heads up their a*rse in life marvelling at the view :grinv1:

Oh so NOW they are up only footy season?

Near very word you have said in this thread is a falsehood or twisted truths.

I’ve driven up there during the footy season and not seen a single poster so I challenge you OR anyone to show us these so called everywhere posters?

You won’t do it and you will say it’s be used IM asking when in fact these “posters” go up just before the two games and that’s it.

We all know why you would personally want the games to stay as you have a vested interest you will not admit and want the money from the only two events at the joint all year that get a half decent crowd.

Oh and don’t mention the FACT even members have to pay more now for this absolute spud idea that hardly none of them are interested in. No Bums on seats prove that year after year
 

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Roogal

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In that post I also suggested it would be good to get a crowd breakdown - i.e. how many are Bulldog members (even break that down by local members like myself vs Melb/non-Ballarat-based members), how many are locals just getting an AFL fix, and how many are opposition fans/members who have travelled. I'm still under the assumption those stats do not exist (maybe you know more Roogal ?).
I don't have those stats but given that it's predominately Bulldogs members who go to those games and that the numbers suggest about a 70% Bulldogs (7,350) support against 30% (3,150) opposition when the ground is at 95% capacity (10,500) then considering that there were about 4000 holding exclusive Ballarat Bulldogs local memberships then there would be an assumption that a big percentage of them would attend the two annual games. If that figure of locals supporting the game was roughly 3,800, then that means that roughly 3,550 of the crowd are Bulldogs general members from outside the immediate Ballarat region including the people who get freebies from media promotions etc.

In addition you need to consider that a percentage of the opposition supporters will be galvanised local supporters as well.

Does that seem about right? I'm purely guessing these figures but there could be 500-1000 each way on the figures that I've approximated above.

The Council and Business Ballarat do extensive analysis of economic activity and deep dive into the addresses of people doing any electronic transactions in hotels, cafes, restaurants, motels and other key areas including taxi services, railways and tourism hotspots during AFL game days and other major tourism events such as the White Night, Winter Wonderland at Sovereign Hill, the Cycling Nationals, Begonia Festival, Royal South Street Esteddford, Harness Racing and Rowing Regattas. They do have a very accurate picture of how much money is being spent and where it is coming from.
 
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perro_loco

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Yep I think that might have been "Norta Melbin" ;)
Loved the wogs from Franco Cozzo's and my dad's generation. They sacrificed everything to come to Australia and give us a good and strong opportunity to life. They also made such a strong contribution to this country. Thanks to all of them!!!
 

Roogal

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Trekked across to Ballarat to visit sisters and to take the boys to the Western United v Macarthur game. Works proceeding well to create what looks like are going to be several rows of seats at the front of the main hill and new amenities facility at the Southern end. Hopefully these works will be ready in time for the first AFL game in late April. Other works on the main gate and kiosks under the Eureka Stand are yet to commence.

The photo shows the new amenities block behind the scoreboard and the main hill looking worse for wear with about four rows of elevated terrace concreted in so far which perhaps indicates that seats may be installed on the concrete rows similar to the stands. Having an additional several hundred seats would be handy but still not ideal IMO. They really need to extend the main stand and fix the lights to make conditions more comfortable for spectators. That grassy knoll to the right of shot is nice to stand on but 4000 grandstand seats being built over it would be more practical ;)

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footscray1973

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This was the original concept design for VFL Park Waverley, was going to be 3-tiered stands all the way around and hold 157k.


1613970174977.png


Maybe adapt that model to Mars. Then upgrade the train lines between Melb and all major regional centres with bullet trains, 20min trip from Melb CBD to purpose-built station next door to Mars. Stadium could also be used for major concert events, pandemic isolation or vaccination centre. In a bush-fire emergency or other disaster, the entire population of greater Ballarat could take refuge inside, whilst blocking any interlopers from the big smoke. Soooo many benefits.
 

Roogal

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Even if we just had Bullet trains only that would be amazing. Our trains suck in AU. Lol.
I think that the people of Ballarat and Bendigo would rejoice if the government simply duplicated the rail lines to Melbourne then those 160 kph capable Bombardier trains could get people to Ballarat in 45-50 minutes and Bendigo in just on an hour. I am old enough to remember that it used to take about 2.5 hours by train back in the 70's on clunky old red rattlers:

F122.jpg


It's no accident that Ballarat is the fastest growing inland city in Australia and one of Australia's fastest growing regional cities. The new boom started when the Bracks government invested millions upgrading and reopening regional train lines and rolling stock in the early 2000s. In the 15 years since 2006 Ballarat has added more people than what it had in the previous 45 years. The new trains are comfortable and very fast. There are four portions of the Ballarat-Melbourne line where they do open them out at top speed, but the current single line with its passing loops limits the travel time to roughly 70 minutes:

F122_1820.jpg
 
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Roogal

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This was the original concept design for VFL Park Waverley, was going to be 3-tiered stands all the way around and hold 157k.


View attachment 1062889

Maybe adapt that model to Mars. Then upgrade the train lines between Melb and all major regional centres with bullet trains, 20min trip from Melb CBD to purpose-built station next door to Mars. Stadium could also be used for major concert events, pandemic isolation or vaccination centre. In a bush-fire emergency or other disaster, the entire population of greater Ballarat could take refuge inside, whilst blocking any interlopers from the big smoke. Soooo many benefits.
At least in VFL Park's defence, they did at least make provision for carparking (even if the government didn't come to the party with the train line). :think: Not sure about the disaster thingy though ... Geez gathering thousands into a closed stadium during a disaster ... what could possibly go wrong? After all that worked so well for New Orleans during the flood :D
 
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footscray1973

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At least in VFL Park's defence, they did at least make provision for carparking (even if the government didn't come to the party with the train line). :think: Not sure about the disaster thingy though ... Geez gathering thousands into a closed stadium during a disaster ... what could possibly go wrong? After all that worked so well for New Orleans during the flood :D
Australian ingenuity and mate-ship would come to the fore in moments of adversity. Someone, possibly me, would get out my 10 decks of cards and start a huge card game, the Forge guys would start making pizzas. Personally I'd be building Mars as a three-tier stadium with slots on the top tier so we could defend it against invaders. Would have to let a few in from Bungaree if they bring spuds to feed everyone, and the pastry chef from the French cake shop from Creswick too. And the head distiller/brewer from Kilderken. Think that covers everything?
 

Roogal

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Australian ingenuity and mate-ship would come to the fore in moments of adversity. Someone, possibly me, would get out my 10 decks of cards and start a huge card game, the Forge guys would start making pizzas. Personally I'd be building Mars as a three-tier stadium with slots on the top tier so we could defend it against invaders. Would have to let a few in from Bungaree if they bring spuds to feed everyone, and the pastry chef from the French cake shop from Creswick too. And the head distiller/brewer from Kilderken. Think that covers everything?
So in other words Mars Stadium would become Ballarat's new Kryal Castle. Perhaps some "flogging of the wicked wenches" and Jousting to entertain the Half-time crowds. Perhaps the players with the least posessions and effective disposals at Full-time can be put into the Stocks and pelted with left over meat pies as the crowd finally leave stadium via its newly installed draw bridges (colloquially known as Gates 1 and 2). These ideas have merit you know and would make the whole Ballarat experience unforgettable.
 

GetDimmaBack

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Mar 30, 2008
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So in other words Mars Stadium would become Ballarat's new Kryal Castle. Perhaps some "flogging of the wicked wenches" and Jousting to entertain the Half-time crowds. Perhaps the players with the least posessions and effective disposals at Full-time can be put into the Stocks and pelted with left over meat pies as the crowd finally leave stadium via its newly installed draw bridges (colloquially known as Gates 1 and 2). These ideas have merit you know and would make the whole Ballarat experience unforgettable.
Now that sounds like a plan ;)
 

Roogal

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Now that sounds like a plan ;)
Wait, there's more. Get rid of the stadium's fences and replace them with a moat cause Ballarat simply has an abundance of water just laying around not doing much else in Winter. Every person in the crowd could carry torches which would kill two birds with one stone - With all that fire there'd be no problems with the crowd keeping warm and it would solve the stadium's lighting problem. See ... I'm an idea's girl :)
 
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Roogal

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Yesterday, look what they've done to our hill. It will improve the view of play for people in the first several rows on the hill and it remains to be seen whether they install seats there which would add another 1000 (odd) but I will be interested to see if they eventually install any sort of canopies or if the heating points proposed by Peter Gordon get installed.

Yes the lights still suck but they still will have about $3 mil left in the kitty after the upgrades to the hill, new gates, loos and kiosks are finished. The current Mayor Daniel Maloney has been a huge champion of the stadium and its development since its inception and is deeply aware that the lighting is a major priority fix to be addressed. Whether they replace the towers with higher capacity fixtures or they add two more towers to the perimeter in the future remains to be seen. But the lighting will be a $4-5 mil fix.

For newer forumers unaware of the history of Mars Stadium - The issue with the lighting is that because there was never any original intention on the WBFC part to play night/twilight games, the ground was redeveloped with four 600 lux capacity towers that would accommodate AFL non-televised games (crazy considering that all AFL games are now televised). They were subsequently fitted with enough lights to meet VFL needs in 2016. Since 2017, there have been occasions when the ground has been used for televised night sport and also opportunities lost for hosting or bidding for other events because of the lighting.

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