The Western Bulldogs will call Ballarat home for another three years with the club extending its deal with the City of Ballarat and the state government through 2024.
Under the extended deal, the Bulldogs' AFL side will continue to play two home and away matches per year at Mars Stadium while the AFLW team will make its debut at the ground this summer and play one match per year as part of a separate funding deal.
The extension comes as works at the stadium continue, with the $6.6 million upgrade for new entrances, ticket boxed, covered areas and increased accessible seating currently taking place.
Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney and Wendouree MP Juliana Addison were joined by Western Bulldogs stars Marcus Bontempelli and Bonnie Toogood and chief executive Ameet Bains at Mars Stadium for the announcement on Monday.
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Cr Moloney said the city's connection with the Bulldogs extended beyond the matches played at Mars Stadium.
"It's because of this partnership that we have terrific programs like Sons and Daughters of the West and Bulldogs Read, which make a genuine positive impact on the people of Ballarat," he said.
"I'd love to see this stadium continue to grow in its stature and its significance as part of the AFL calendar. Having the two games here, from a men's point of view, is already impressive and the partnership over the past few years has delivered a premiership and an almost premiership as well.
"To go so close this year, we here in Ballarat had such pride seeing the word Ballarat on the shorts of those AFL footballers, the Western Bulldogs team, in the grand final as well. Hopefully we can see another premiership in the coming seasons as well because it's a partnership we've valued quite significantly."
Ms Addison said the deal was a win for the Ballarat community.
"This amazing announcement has been supported by the Victorian government's Regional Events Fund and Significant Sporting Events program and we're proud of our strong partnership with the Dogs," she said.
"Since 2017, Ballarat locals have enjoyed seven AFL matches here, attracting more than 45,000 spectators from across Victoria and interstate and providing a significant boost to local tourism and small business, not just here, but in western Victoria."
Mr Bains said the club had enjoyed its partnership with council and the state government.
"Ballarat (and the broader region) is our second home, and we are both proud and excited to extend our formal partnership for at least a further three years and honour our long-term commitment to the region," he said.
"When we first came here six years ago, there were two elements for us that were non-negotiable. One was making a long-term commitment to the region and the second was having a year-round presence as well, to not be a fly in, fly out entity and it's great that we have been able to do that.
"We're really proud of the community outcomes that get delivered in partnership with the City of Ballarat and the state government as well. Our Sons of the West and Daughters of the West health programs, our youth leadership programs and our Bulldogs Read programs in the schools, as well as our partnership with AFL Goldfields as well, supporting junior football for the aspiring Bonnies and Marcuses in the region."
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