NAB cup arrives in Ballarat

EUREKA stadium opens its gates to the AFL this Saturday and the North Ballarat Football Club “can’t wait to put the show on”.

Thousands of football fans are expected to converge on the stadium to watch North Melbourne play Carlton in the 2014 NAB Challenge.

Gates will open at 3pm for the 4.40pm game.

North Ballarat chief executive officer Mark Patterson said the event, which will be broadcast live on Foxtel, was the result of years of preparation by the club and other stakeholders.

“These games just don’t happen,” he said.

“The AFL have got some very strict criteria that has to be met to host a game like this.

“The work over the past 12 months and the past three or four years was around making sure we’ve got as much of that infrastructure on a permanent basis as we can.”

Mr Patterson said the club expected between 5000 to 10,000 spectators and it would be a matter of first in best dressed for the best vantage points around the oval.

There will also be plenty of action prior to the game, with a NAB sponsored clinic and AFL clubs doing their warm-ups, while the VFL’s North Ballarat Roosters play the Northern Blues after the main match.

City of Ballarat mayor Joshua Morris said it was a great opportunity for Ballarat residents to see top level AFL action in their own backyard.

“North Melbourne certainly made a big impression through their community camp here last week, and I’m sure all footy fans are looking forward to seeing them take on the Blues at Eureka Stadium on Saturday,” he said.

Parking will be around Eureka Stadium and at Broadhead Arena at the showgrounds.

To avoid having to queue at the ticketing area on game day, people are advised to buy their tickets early through Ticketmaster online or at the North Ballarat Sports Club.

Prices are $18 adult, $4 child under-15, $36 family (two adults and up to four children).

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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