An image of an empty MARS Stadium on the left and an arial photo of the Ballarat train station on the right

Why an Events Platform at MARS Stadium Matters

We know Ballarat continues to be a growing regional city and that the best outcomes for growth are achieved when we plan well for it. We also know that Ballarat’s population growth to the north of MARS stadium as part of the Northern Growth Zone will be significant with 20,000+ residents living there within the next 5-10 years.

The Commonwealth Games provides a unique opportunity for us to build transport infrastructure that will service a rapidly growing region AND will service an Events Precinct that will host millions of visitors for sports, cultural, arts and entertainment events for decades to come.

The stadium will have capacity for 15-20,000 spectators long after the Commonwealth Games have left town. An events platform at the stadium will service the many events that will be hosted at MARS and will provide a critical transport option for those attending, relieving the pressures on the precinct that we know all-too-well when the AFL comes to play.

This is as much about Ballarat’s growth as it is about the Commonwealth Games. We currently have two railway stations to service a region that is home to more than 170,000 people.

An events platform at MARS stadium will
• relieve pressure on Wendouree and Ballarat stations
• reduce traffic congestion and demand for parking in the CBD
• provide a commuter option for Ballarat residents to access our city centre directly for residents in the north, especially for those who can’t, don’t, or choose not to drive
• activate the Maryborough line and provide enhanced transport options for the communities of Creswick, Clunes and Talbot
• AND provide a much needed transport option for MARS stadium that will greatly enhance the games experience for spectators and for every event into the future.

We note Jacinta Allen’s comments. If there has been planning work done for an events platform, and if that planning work has concluded that the timelines and costs that make this unrealistic, then we call on the Office of the Commonwealth Games to release that work and engage fully with our community to determine how we will move people around for the games. Buses can not be the only option.

We need to build over 2000 beds in Ballarat for the Athletes Village in the 1000 days before the Games commence, surely building an events platform is not so complicated that it can’t be achieved in that same time frame.

If the Government is serious about Comm Games Legacy and if they are serious about ensuring our regional city’s growth is planned well, then the Events Platform at the stadium is a key piece of transport infrastructure.

It’s hard to imagine our city without Wendouree station. We want to look back in 10 years time and see a highly functional Eureka Stadium station and say, how could we imagine our city without it!