The Western Bulldogs hope to honour their commitment to playing AFL matches in Ballarat in 2020, if the 2020 season can be completed as it’s intended.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to play two games at Mars Stadium this year, in Rounds 8 and 22, before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
CEO Ameet Bains told SEN’s Gerard Whateley that while the notion of hosting AFL games at VU Whitten Oval has become “less plausible”, hosting games in Ballarat is still a high priority for the Club.
“For us, playing in Ballarat is critical. We obviously continue to play a couple of games a year there at Mars Stadium,” Bains said.
“We enjoy playing there. We also have an agreement with the State Government and the City of Ballarat, so we think it remains a great opportunity.
“(With) an expectation of no crowds in the first part of whatever the revised fixture looks like, there’s even an opportunity to potentially play Victorian teams.
“There are many different concepts that everyone is starting to spit-ball, about what’s possible in the back half of the year.
“We’d love to be able to play our games at Ballarat this year, and the balance of those at Marvel Stadium.”
City of Ballarat director of community development Neville Ivey recently told the Ballarat Courier: “Mars Stadium is certainly open for business and available for AFL football this season. We are not sure what the revised fixture will look like, but we will do our best to accommodate any request from the AFL.”
The AFL is expected to make an announcement soon on arrangements for the return to training for AFL Clubs, as it plans to complete the remaining 144 games plus finals in the 2020 season.