NEW concept designs have brought the proposed $21 million Wendouree Sports and Events Centre expansion to life.
Ballarat Basketball and the Ballarat Indoor Sports Group presented the designs to government and opposition representatives last week, in the next phase of their push to expand the centre as part of the $37 Ballarat major events precinct.
The six-court complex would be located next to the current WSEC in Norman Street, providing eight courts on the one site – twice the capacity of the Minerdome.
Basketball Ballarat chief executive officer Peter Eddy said the goal was to develop a vision that was modern and futuristic but also affordable and functional.
“When the Ballarat City Council launched the Ballarat capital plan last year and laid out a model of what it’s going to approach the government for support on, we thought it was time to be very specific about what we’re after,” he said.
The Ballarat Regional Capital Plan prioritises $37 million of projects for a major Ballarat events precinct including a 6000-seat AFL stadium, a $9 million indoor basketball and netball stadium and an $8 million sports house.
As Ballarat’s current home of basketball, the Minerdome no longer meets requirements for major regional, state and national activities.
Mr Eddy said the WSEC expansion would cater for elite basketball and netball events while also meeting the immediate needs of local community competitions and programs.
Ballarat Basketball major projects chair Nick Grylewicz said now was the time for Ballarat’s indoor facilities to be upgraded to meet community expectations and for Ballarat to remain competitive with other regional centres.
“The development of the WSEC project as planned will guarantee that our indoor sports can continue to grow and prosper and, equally as important, we can continue to retain existing major event opportunities that provide a proven economic benefit to the city,” he said.
Key features of the expansion include an elite show court for the Ballarat Miners, Ballarat Rush, Ballarat Pride and state or national events, a 3000-seat events centre, a gym, a sports medicine facility and meeting rooms.
The development of the new major indoor sports facility relies on the city council and Ballarat Basketball working in partnership to attract funds for the $21 million project.