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Everything you need to know: Round 10 in Ballarat

The Bulldogs are Ballarat bound to take on the Gold Coast Suns on Saturday 21 May at Mars Stadium, as part of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

The Bulldogs are Ballarat bound to take on the Gold Coast Suns on Saturday 21 May at Mars Stadium, as part of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round. 
   
With the first bounce at 1:45pm, here is everything you need to know to ensure that you are game day ready. 
 
Key Match Timings:   
Gates Open: 12:00pm   
Bulldogs Team Entry: 1:28pm  
Welcome To Country: 1:38pm  
First Bounce: 1:45pm   
 
 
SIR DOUG NICHOLLS ROUND 
 
As part of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the Western Bulldogs will celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and their contribution to our game of Australian Rules Football. 
   
A Welcome to Country ceremony will take place from 1:38pm shortly after team entry, performed by Uncle Barry Gilson of the Wadawurrung People. This will be followed by a gift exchange at the toss of the coin. 
 
The Club encourages all patrons to arrive early, and be in their seats, to participate in this ceremony. 
 
Participants from the Club’s Nallei Jerring Youth Leadership Program will complete a lap of honour at quarter time, and feature in an interview during the main break. 
 
Match day music throughout the stadium will feature a playlist of Indigenous Australian artists.

 

An upgraded match day experience at Mars Stadium awaits 
 
Thanks to a $6.35 million State Government investment in spectator facilities at Mars Stadium, the game-day experience at the venue has been improved. New facilities and amenities include: 

  • Additional accessible seating in the Western and Eastern stands.      
  • Upgraded entrances with new ticket boxes. 
  • Covered areas to make it easier and more comfortable for fans to enter the ground. 
  • Permanent bathrooms to replace temporary toilets on match days. 
  • Improved standing areas. 
  • Permanent food and beverage areas. 

 

Member services and fan activities at Mars Stadium 
 
FanZone: Inside Gate 3 on the netball courts (directly behind the interchange benches), patrons will find a range of kids activities including inflatable, handball target and kids activities games to keep young Bulldogs fans entertained before the first bounce. Ballarat founded KIDS Foundation will also be in the FanZone, where you can meet their mascot SeeMore, and learn about their campaign to Put Your Hand Up for every child to be free for injury and harm. 
 
Mars Chocolate Giveaways: Thanks to our friends at Mars, there will be chocolate giveaways for all in attendance, available inside Gate 1, Gate 2 and Gate 3. 
 
Macca’s Kick-2-Kick: Bring your footy with you to the game on Saturday and stick around after the final siren (approx 4:25pm) to have a kick with your family and friends on Mars Stadium once the players have left the field.   
 
Bulldogs Shop: Visit the Bulldogs Shop team at their outlets inside Gate 1 and Gate 2 at Mars Stadium to ensure you’re decked out in the latest red, white and blue kit. Check out the Club’s new Indigenous range by Nathan Patterson which features Lindsay Gilbee’s ‘Journey of Discovery’ match day guernsey. 
 
Membership Enquiries: Got questions about your membership? The Western Bulldogs Membership Services team will be on site at Mars Stadium on Saturday to provide any support or assistance needed. You will find the membership team located in the ticket booths at Gate 1 and Gate 2.  

 

Getting there, and getting in 

 
Arrive Early 
Gates will open at 12:00pm with the first bounce at 1:45pm. The club anticipate there will be large crowds and some queuing, so please give yourself ample time to get to MARS Stadium and making your way to your seat.  
 
With the Ballarat Heritage Festival on, as well as the Australian Masters Rowing Championships, there is expected to be extra traffic on the roads to Ballarat and around Mars Stadium.  
 
In the instance that social distancing isn’t possible we encourage patrons to use a facemask.

Ballarat Bus Shuttle | Ballarat Station to Mars Stadium   

From 11:30am, the shuttle bus service will be ready to depart Ballarat Station Bus Terminal and travel to Mars Stadium for patrons. 
 
From 3:00pm, the return shuttle bus service will be ready to depart Mars Stadium and drop passengers off in Lydiard St North outside the train station, a second drop off will be made in Sturt Street outside the Ballarat Town Hall. Services are expected to operate until all patrons have left (approx. 5:30pm)

Park & Ride Shuttle  

The Park & Ride Shuttle service that has previously operated for AFL matches to and from the location in Doveton St Nth opposite 1237 and 915, will not be in operation. 

VLine Train Services  

Regular trains will be operating with additional services stopping all stations as follows: 

  • To Ballarat – depart Southern Cross at 10:35, arriving Ballarat at 11:59 
  • From Ballarat – depart Ballarat at 17:01, arriving Southern Cross at 18:29

Car Parking   

Hundreds of parking spaces will be available at C.E Brown Reserve and surrounding ovals.  These parking spaces can be accessed from Dowling Street, giving patrons access to the Mars Stadium gates via a short walk.

Additional on-street parking will be available for drivers in Howitt and Norman Streets, as well as Creswick Road (north of Norman Street).

Drivers are reminded there is accessible parking at the North Ballarat Sports Club, however all other traffic will be directed to park at one of the other designated parking areas.  

A drop-off and pick-up zone will also be set up directly outside Gate 2 on Creswick Road.  
 
 

Plan your visit to Ballarat early, local eateries, attractions and accommodation in high demand  

Play on after the footy and make sure to bring your appetite to discover all the new eateries and bars in town, or make it family affair and go for gold at the iconic Sovereign Hill.   
 
Stay close. Go further. Visit Victoria. Head to visitvictoria.com to start planning your trip to Ballarat to watch the Bulldogs now. 
 
Our friends at Visit Ballarat have also together the top four things to do whilst you’re in Ballarat for the footy, from e-scooters to craft brews. Click here to check out your footy itinerary. 
 
With school holidays, a public holiday long weekend, and other public events on in town, accommodation across the Ballarat region is in high demand. If you plan to make a weekend of it in Ballarat, make sure you book early to avoid disappointment as accommodation is selling out fast. Click here for more details on places to stay in Ballarat. 

 

Member Access - Digital Membership Cards 

Ballarat General Admission & Reserved Seat Members can access MARS Stadium by simply scanning in via the Western Bulldogs digital membership card at the gate. Information on accessing your digital membership card can be found here.

All other access members can purchase a $10 general admission ticket through Ticketmaster using their home barcode or purchase reserved seat through the public on-sale. 

Please note general admission members will see seats in their digital card – this is NOT your actual seat and refers only to general admission bays.  

We understand and acknowledge that not all members own a smart phone device and will be concerned about how to access MARS Stadium.  

If you are a member who requires additional support, or if you are experiencing difficulties accessing your digital membership, please don’t hesitate to contact our membership team at membership@westernbulldogs.com.au or on 1300 46 36 47 between 10AM - 4PM   

Please note members will not be able to scan into MARS Stadium using the traditional plastic card. These cards have been issued as keepsakes, with all stadiums moving to digital ticketing and scan-in for the upcoming season.  

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Western Bulldogs acknowledge that we reside on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples past, present and emerging.