Eureka Stadium

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Eureka Stadium
Eureka Stadium logo.png
Former names Northern Oval #1 and AUSTAR Arena
Location Midland Highway, Wendouree. Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Owner City of Ballarat
Operator City of Ballarat
Capacity 11000 (after Stage 1 development)[1]
including 5026 (Seated)
Field size 159.5m x 128.8m
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Video-electronic (from June 2017)
Construction
Broke ground 1990
Built 1990
Opened 1991
Renovated 2016-17
Construction cost $15.2 million (Stage 1)
Architect Peddle Thorp (Melbourne)
Project manager Atelier Projects
Main contractors AW Nicholson Constructions
Tenants
North Ballarat Football Club (VFL),
North Ballarat Rebels (TAC Cup)
North Ballarat Cricket Club (Ballarat Cricket Association) (1993-)
North Ballarat City Football Club (BFL)
North Ballarat Eagles (VWFL)
North Ballarat Netball Club

Eureka Stadium (formerly known as Northern Oval #1) is an oval shaped sports stadium located in the Ballarat Showgrounds at Wendouree, an outer suburb of Ballarat in Australia.

History[edit]

The first oval was established in 1990 on a site formerly occupied by the Ballarat Showgrounds Harness Racing track (1952-1966) when the North Ballarat Football Club and North Ballarat Cricket Club relocated from their original club facilities (located on the eastern side of the former harness racing track). The 1990-built oval was over 170 metres long and 140 metres wide and rotated on an East to West axis. It included a new pavilion (The North Ballarat Sports Club) which was built on private land to the northern flank of the oval.

Since 1990, the main oval has been used for many events whilst primarily being used as an Australian rules football and cricket venue. It annually hosts the Ballarat Gift (Athletics Carnival) and is used by the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society during the annual Ballarat Agricultural Show. The facility today is the home of the North Ballarat Football Club of the Victorian Football League, the North Ballarat Rebels of the TAC Cup, and the North Ballarat City of the Ballarat Football and Netball League.

Until 2016 spectator conditions and capacity were limited by the lack of elevated vantage points bordering the main playing arena. The entire oval was re-constructed in 2015/16 in preparation for the first stage of major development as an AFL football venue from 2017. In April 2017 the Ballarat City Council acquired the North Ballarat Sports Club pavilion and freehold title in order to centralise ownership, management and control of the entire precinct under one management body.

AFL venue[edit]

AFL pre-season match. Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne.

Australian Football League club North Melbourne established a partnership with the North Ballarat Football Club in 2006 and played AFL pre-season matches at the ground between 2010 and 2014 with strong and growing support. In June 2015 the North Melbourne Football Club withdrew from the Ballarat region having committed to play a percentage of their AFL 'home and away seasonal games' in Hobart (Tasmania) until 2021. Immediately the Western Bulldogs AFL club announced their support to playing at least two AFL 'home games' in Ballarat (though not affiliated with North Ballarat Football Club as North Melbourne had been) from 2017 with the option to extend the contract from 2022.

In late October 2016 the AFL released its 2017 playing fixture confirming that the Western Bulldogs would host Port Adelaide Football Club in Round 22 in the first AFL game for premiership points at the Stadium. The Western Bulldogs have also expressed intention to play pre-seasonal games and the popular Australian Women's Football League (AWFL) games at the venue from 2018.

Redevelopment[edit]

In June 2015 the Victorian government announced a $31.5 million upgrade to the stadium and the wider Ballarat Major Events Precinct (with approximately half of the funding to be directed to the first stage of redevelopment of the Eureka Stadium).[2]

The Ballarat Major Events Precinct Master Plan (Released in June 2015), provided a strategic overview for the long-term development of the stadium as a boutique general purpose stadium; other neighboring sports fields and pavilions; and the nearby Ballarat Indoor Sports and Events Centre over three stages.

Concept designs for the first-stage development of the Eureka Stadium were released on 18th November 2015 that included a new grandstand and covered terraced seating for over 5000 spectators, temporary creation of grassed mounds, improved lighting and video scoreboard.[3] Additionally the North Ballarat Number Two Oval was to be rebuilt to the same playing dimensions and standard as the main oval with the original (200 lux) light towers relocated to the Number Two Oval.[4]


Stage-one construction works commenced in late July 2016 and is scheduled for completion in late June 2017. Further development is planned, although funding for ongoing development is yet to be announced.[4] Future stages of development propose significant extension of the main grandstand in addition to further development of supporting infrastructure and capital works around the facility. Architects have designed the stadium for an eventual stage-three capacity for 13,000-15,000 spectators. Further contingency has been included into the design to add additional rows of seating to the new eastern terrace (if needed) which would raise capacity to 16,000-17,000 without significantly altering the stadium's footprint or appearance.

Attendance records[edit]

Top 6 Attendance Records

No. Date Teams Sport Competition Crowd
1 11 March 2012 North Melbourne Kangaroos v. Western Bulldogs Australian Rules Football AFL (pre-season) 8,000
2 15 February 2014 North Melbourne Kangaroos v. Carlton Football Club Australian Rules Football AFL (pre-season) 7,800
3 12 March 2011 North Melbourne Kangaroos v. Western Bulldogs Australian Rules Football AFL (pre-season) 7,000
4 13 September 2014 Bungaree v. Springbank Australian Rules Football CHFL Grand Final 6,500
5 12 September 2015 Gordon v. Springbank Australian Rules Football CHFL Grand Final 6,400
6 14 March 2015 Western Bulldogs v. Melbourne Demons Australian Rules Football AFL (pre-season) 6,000

Source: Austadiums

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eureka Stadium". Austadiums. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Eureka Stadium funding confirmed". Western Bulldogs. 17 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Ballarat a step closer to hosting AFL games at Eureka Stadium". Herald Sun. 20 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Proposed redevelopment of the Ballarat Major Events Precinct" (PDF). City of Ballarat. 18 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°32′22.3″S 143°50′52.9″E / 37.539528°S 143.848028°E / -37.539528; 143.848028

Ballarat Major Events Precinct Masterplan Final Report