Ballarat’s Mars Stadium set for funding boost

Mars Stadium.
Mars Stadium.

Ballarat’s Mars Stadium is set for another major upgrade with the state government poised to reveal the details of multimillion-dollar upgrades for up to five AFL-aligned venues in Victoria.

The boutique Ballarat ground, which hosted its first AFL fixture for premiership points last year and has two more games schedule for 2018, is expected to be a beneficiary of the announcement along with Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, Carlton’s Ikon Park, Whitten Oval in Footscray and GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.

Several AFL presidents and chief executives were summoned to a phone hook-up late on Thursday night where they were briefed on the funding details. It is expected the government will publicly reveal further details on Friday.

The funding package is believed to part of the government's major stadium strategy and will be a key component of the May budget.

The funding boost for the venues was described by one source as "very good for the AFL industry".

The Western Bulldogs will meet the Gold Coast Suns at Mars Stadium on Saturday, May 5 and the Port Adelaide Power on Sunday, July 29.

With Scott Spits, Jake Niall, Peter Ryan and Caroline Wilson