THE City of Greater Bendigo will tick of the completion of another big project this weekend, when it celebrates the official opening of the extended new-look Bendigo Stadium.

The completion of the $23.65 million project may well signal the end of a major redevelopment project, but it also ushers in a new era for the stadium, which has forever been transformed from a local sporting mecca to a venue now truly capable of hosting the world’s best events and competitions.

Fittingly, the venue’s opening will be marked by a weekend dedicated to community celebrations, as many locals get their first chance to step inside and have a look for themselves at what has been created at the stadium.

Incorporating three multi-purpose courts with retractable seating capable of extending to create a 4000-seat show court arena, supported by the additional investment in many other areas of the stadium complex, these works provide the venue with the facilities and standards both it and the community deserves.

The investment in new netball facilities is the biggest ever in greater Bendigo.

All this adds up to a venue that now needs to deliver on the vote of confidence invested in it by the community and the state and local government sectors.

Expectations of a new standard in entertainment and performances travelling to Bendigo were raised when Ulumbarra opened its doors to the community a few years back, and now shift to include even more concerts and sporting events.

Council will already be looking ahead to August when the $31m Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre is due to open at Kangaroo Flat, the next big ticket item set to become the next jewel in the crown for Bendigo.

As the biggest single infrastructure project undertaken by council, the complex should add more substance to the organisation’s vision for Bendigo to be Australia’s most liveable regional city.

But there’s no point in taxpayers paying for infrastructure that is this good, and this accessible, if the community does not use it or support it, and with report after report highlighting the overall unhealthy nature of too many people in our community, we hope more will be tempted to pay a visit to either, or both these quality facilities, when the opportunity to do so arises.