EUREKA Stadium appears destined to be the home of the Central Highlands Football League grand final in the foreseeable future.
League president Eddy Comelli yesterday said the CHFL would most likely look towards keeping the grand final at the Ballarat-based venue, as opposed to relocating it to the home ground of a member club.
Although the decision still needs to be approved at board level, Comelli says it is probably hard to see any change in venue.
Clubs competing in this year’s grand final two weeks ago expressed their disappointment after they were banned from drinking alcohol or spraying water in the newly refurbished Eureka Stadium change rooms.
At the time, both Buninyong president Wayne Morgan and Hepburn president Wayne Morgan said they would both support any move away from Eureka Stadium next year.
However, Comelli said the current venue had proved itself as the best option for the league.
“At this point in time I think the closer you are to Ballarat means the bigger crowds you get through the gates,” he said.
“Until there’s a very good alternative we’re happy where we are. It’s been proven that gate takings go up 25 per cent at Eureka Stadium since we moved there.”
Comelli said there had been consideration given to moving the grand final to other locations in Ballarat, with City Oval also considered.
Eastern Oval would mostly likely be unavailable due to Ballarat Football League preliminary final week, with the remaining ovals unlikely to provide an adequate surface for a grand final.
Ballarat City Council has committed to upgrading all surfaces in Ballarat over the next five years, but until then Comelli sees Eureka Stadium as the most suitable option.
“We’ve thought about City Oval but if you get a wet day that can get
a pretty bad with four games of footy,” Comelli said.
“The good thing about Eureka Stadium is the seating as well.
It can get pretty tight but there are still more seats than our grounds.
“In the last 15 years since we used to have the grand final at Learmonth, our crowds have doubled.”