Federal, state funding needed for proposed sports stadium

A 15,000-seat football stadium in the proposed Ballarat sports and entertainment precinct could still go ahead if either the state or federal government comes to the table and help fund the project. 

If the project goes ahead, it is expected to open the door for the North Melbourne Football Club to play home and away season AFL games in the Ballarat. 

City of Ballarat mayor Josh Morris said the council was still lobbying for the original plan despite a recent downgrade of the proposed development capacity of the current Eureka Stadium to a first stage of 6000 seats.

“We know that we can’t do the project ourselves, it is too big, so we have been looking at funding opportunities, whether that be from the state government or the federal government,” Cr Morris said.

Speaking to The Courier yesterday after the civic reception to open North Melbourne’s community camp, club chief executive Carl Dilena said the club was still open to playing games in the city. 

“This time last year it was a really hot topic because there was a lot of talk around it, but that seems to have quieted down this year,” he said. 

“But I think if you could get something off the ground that is viable for AFL football, there would be a lot of interest in it.”

Cr Morris said the size of the project would still come down to funding and how committed government was.

“From our perspective, if a state or federal government wants to come in and fund a project, we will support them,” he said. 

“But at the end of the day if they are going to come with the lion’s share of the funds then they will say ‘this is what we want’.

“We want to work with them on this project to ensure it as viable as possible.”

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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