Footy legend and premiership coach Paul Roos believes AFL football needs to remain in Ballarat for the foreseeable future.
Speaking to the media prior to a leadership conference, the former Sydney and Melbourne coach said it would "be a shame" if Ballarat lost elite games due to the re-development of the Whitten Oval.
"I think it's really important (to keep games in Ballarat)," he said.
See what the AFL legend had to say below:
The Western Bulldogs are contracted to play at Mars Stadium in Ballarat until the end of 2021, but the club has not committed beyond that.
The Bulldogs recently completed their 'Master Plan' for the Whitten Oval precinct, stating that "the future of the Bulldogs' West Footscray home will be the centrepiece of Melbourne's west, a home for an elite sporting club and a common place for the community".
Roos likened the situation to that of Hawthorn and North Melbourne, who are both affiliated with Tasmania and play multiple games a year in Launceston and Hobart respectively.
He added it would be damaging to uproot a club from a secondary base such as Ballarat.
"The groundwork you've done and the good will, it's really important to keep that going," he said.
While Roos hasn't coached a game at Mars Stadium, he says the success of the recent Bulldogs v Lions game in Ballarat shows that the AFL should continue to play in regional areas all across Australia.
"I used to love the pre-season when we were able to get out to a lot of the regional areas," he said.
"Certainly having a game for four points here - it's a great stadium and a great venue.
"I think that's one of the great things about the AFL, they certainly don't neglect the grass-roots from a visual point of view and getting the best players out to these areas."