Western Bulldogs commit to Ballarat AFL, AFLW games
The Western Bulldogs will play two AFL home games per season at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium for a further three years after extending their agreement with the Victorian government.
As part of a separate arrangement, the Bulldogs will also play an AFLW match in the regional city next year.
It will be the first women’s home-and-away fixture played at the venue.
Details of the 2022 fixtures will be confirmed by the AFL when the men’s and women’s schedules are released in the coming weeks.
The Bulldogs have hosted seven men’s home games at Mars Stadium over the last five years, building a strong 5-2 record at the ground.
They played two matches there in 2021 after missing out in 2020, when COVID-19 issues wreaked havoc with the schedule.
Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains said the club has enjoyed an “incredibly strong partnership” with the state government and City of Ballarat in recent years.
“Ballarat (and the broader region) is our second home, and we are both proud and excited to extend our formal partnership for at least a further three years and honour our long-term commitment to the region,” Bains said in a statement.
“Not only has the partnership successfully brought official AFL games to Ballarat’s Mars Stadium, but it has also actively supported visitation to the region and assisted in the facilitation of the Bulldogs’ extensive range of community, school and junior football programs.
“We look forward to now hosting both AFL and AFLW home and away games at Mars Stadium in 2022 and beyond, which will reinforce our year-round presence in Ballarat.”
The Bulldogs beat both Adelaide and Brisbane at Mars Stadium in 2021 on their march towards the finals.
Meanwhile, the Dogs’ first to fourth-year players hit the track for the start of pre-season training on Monday, nine weeks since the grand final defeat to Melbourne.
Key forward Josh Bruce took another step forward in his rehabilitation after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August, running on the Alter-G machine for the first time.
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