Ballarat Gift organisers are seeking financial help from the council for the running of the 2020 event.
In a tourism grant application that goes before councillors this week, the people behind the event - a highlight of the city's athletic calendar - have requested a total of $13,000 to go towards the event's logistical costs.
Former Ballarat Athletic president Peter Emerson said the preferred location was Mars Stadium due to a sponsorship arrangement with North Ballarat football club, but it was not possible to hold the event in the venue this year.
"The City Oval is a lovely event to watch as well," he said. "Council has been very good to us with preparation of the track and support."
He said the funding would go towards the Victorian Athletics League costs of holding the event, including the sound system, the costs of officials and its promotion.
The event generates around $211,600 into the Ballarat economy, a council officer report said.
While the return on investment would be lower than would normally be the case for a grant of that size, council officers are recommending the application be approved due to the event's cultural significance.
The event had also increased female participation due to prize money equity and junior participation due to a partnership with Ballarat Athletic Little Athletic Club, the report noted, adding that it could risk losing status if funding were not secured.
The Ballarat Gift has run in the city since 1949. It is the second largest gift in Australia, behind the Stawell Gift, which has had some well publicised financial issues in recent months.
Mr Emerson said the Ballarat event was not facing the same pressures as its larger Western Victorian counterpart.
"We're in a very different situation to Stawell Gift. They've got much higher costs," he said.
The event will take place over two days at the City Oval on February 8-9, the second consecutive year it has been held at the venue. It has taken place at several different locations over the past few years.
In the meantime, officers have recommended $5,520 for the holding of the national polocrosse championships in Ballarat from March 30 to April 5.
An application from Polocrosse Victoria had requested $24,000 but officers have recommended a smaller amount.
A funding assessment suggested the event would mostly attract visits from the polocrosse community, and it would be a "one-off" without "ongoing benefit to the community", the report said.
Councillors will consider both funding applications at the first ordinary council meeting of 2020, which takes place at Ballarat Town Hall this Wednesday.
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