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Life on Mars (Stadium)

August 21, 2017 3:28 PM

Beveridge Post Match Press Conference (Rd22) Watch Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge's press conference after the Round 22 match against Port Adelaide in Ballarat.

Once you’d taken the Midland Highway exit off the Western Freeway toward Ballarat on Saturday morning, it quickly became obvious you were in Bulldogs country.

The newly developed precinct loomed in the distance, and the former Eureka Stadium was almost unrecognisable with its splendid new look draped as it was in red, white and blue.

10,087 people poured into the Bulldogs’ country home for the first game ever played for premiership points in the regional centre just over an hour’s drive from the Clubs’ spiritual home of Footscray.

With the smell of food trucks in the air, the site of scarves hanging out of car windows and locals proudly sporting their Bulldogs gear there was carnival like atmosphere at the newly named Mars Stadium.

The talk of snow throughout the week proved unfounded, instead the ground was bathed in beautiful sunshine and social media would be flooded with photos of the Eureka Stand full of flag waving Bulldogs fans.

Despite the result, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge was full of praise for the whole Ballarat experience.

“We’ve always said Launceston is the best surface in the competition, and it is, the curators down there do a magnificent job for the games but now I think it’s second to this. The surface here is just superb,” he told media post-match.

“The city of Ballarat has really embraced us, it’s a shame we couldn’t win for them today but we’ve enjoyed the experience until the final result.

“We’re here for the next four years, and we need to get the ledger square first off and then make it a place that’s difficult for the opposition to come and play.”

The Western Bulldogs will play two home games at the ground in 2018.

Our Ballarat Bulldogs ❤️ #AFLDogsPower

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