The City of Ballarat will fork out more than $5.5 million in order to take control of the Eureka Stadium precinct after the state government gazetted the acquisition on Thursday.
The council first issued the intention to compulsorily acquire the precinct in February while the then-board was in the midst of a spate of resignations.
The North Ballarat Football Club will now be given a short grace period before a formal, three-month interim lease is entered into. From there the precinct will be put out to a tender process where the Sports Club, along with other organisations, will be able to bid for the lease.
City of Ballarat infrastructure and environment director Terry Demeo said “the primary and singular purpose (of the acquisition) was to secure the key asset of changerooms to ensure the ability to deliver AFL fixtures and other major events, and we’re very confident we’ve achieved that.”
While the ground itself as well as parts of the changerooms already fell under crown land, the remainder of the precinct including the gaming and dining rooms and the car park were on the freehold title held by the club.
A further three-month interim lease may be arranged if council is unable to secure a permanent deal in the allocated time.
The move follows the club’s decision to scrap the role of football manager after its former full-time inhabitant, Marg Richards, declined to take on the job in a part-time capacity.
General manger of football Gary Buckenara also left the club in December last year after the board dissolved the newly-created role.
North Ballarat chairman John Nevett said while he still questioned the need for the compulsory acquisition, the funds would assist the club’s bottom line.
He also said current employees of the sports club, including the North Ballarat City manager, would take joint responsibility over the tasks of football manager.
“We will achieve considerable savings across all departments by virtue of the changes which have been forced upon us, and that's a good thing for North,” Mr Nevett said.
“There were other options (to the acquisition), they were discussed with the council by the previous board as late as towards the end of last year.”
Mr Nevett reiterated his commitment to ensuring all elements of the sports club remained viable, he said it was time for the Roosters to be rebranded to allow the club to be a representative of the whole region.
“There’s been discussions at all levels...that the time has come for the Roosters as they exist in the VFL to exist in a competition where they are identifiable through the western region of Victoria.