On 4 April 2018, Ballarat Councillors voted on a four-year extension of the City of Ballarat and Western Bulldogs partnership.
This partnership has been extended to 2021, and includes many valuable community, economic and sporting benefits.
There is significant community value in the numerous social programs conducted by the Western Bulldogs in Ballarat, which includes:
- Daughters of the West and Sons of the West health programs - Youth Leadership Program: This program provides opportunities for young people to build confidence, make new friendships and develop skills to become future community leaders. - School and hospital visits - Annual Community Camp and community visits: Thousands of Ballarat children have now met or played with Western Bulldogs players at these community activities since 2015. - Bulldogs Read program: This literacy program encourages primary school students to read, write and exercise more by making connections between literacy and sport. - AFL Goldfields junior development programs - Ready Settle Go (an immigrants' assimilation and support program) - Full-time presence and office in Ballarat - Competitions: Hundreds of Ballarat residents have previously won tickets to AFL games, including the AFL grand final and Western Bulldogs games in the home and away season.
The Western Bulldogs are continuing to build on this ongoing relationship with the people of Ballarat and Western Victoria through these many great community programs. Extra community programs are also scheduled for the next term of agreement.
The partnership's economic benefits are also significant for Ballarat, with each game played at Mars Stadium having a total estimated economic benefit of $2.2 million. This is forecast to triple throughout the four-year partnership with a minimum of two AFL games and one pre-season game to be played each year.
The City of Ballarat will also work closely with the Western Bulldogs adn other stakeholders to support growth of all levels of AFL in Ballarat, including women's games, state-level football for Ballarat, junior development through AFL Goldfields and the AFL Denerations Academy indigenous and multi-cultural programs.
What we're proud of so far ...
- The Western Bulldogs players currently wear Ballarat-branded shorts; national promotion for our city and the Bulldogs partnership. (This included the 2016 AFL grand final at the MCG)
- The Bulldogs opened a permanent office in the Ballarat CBD in November 2016, continuing to deliver community and school programs.
- The Bulldogs clashed with Port Adelaide in the first AFL match for Premiership points at Mars Stadium in 2017.
- The Bulldogs AFLW also played their first match at Mars Stadium in 2017.
- Ballarat's first JLT Community Series home game at Mars Stadium was held on Saturday 3 March 2018. And, more than 10,000 people attended the Western Bulldogs V Melbourne NAB Challenge match at Eureka Stadium in 2015.
SAVE THE DATE
Round 7 - Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast Mars Stadium, Ballarat Saturday 5 May | 1.45pm
Round 19 - Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide Mars Stadium, Ballarat Sunday 29 July | 3.20pm