A WEEKEND of sport and family activities will introduce the community to the $23.65 million Bendigo Stadium.
The new showcourt complex will be used for the first time tonight as the Bendigo Braves play Sandringham in a round eight South East Australian Basketball League fixture.
A VIP event will be held on Saturday night, before a free family fun day on Sunday showcasing the show court and redeveloped entrance and netball courts areas.
The showcourt seats 4000 patrons at capacity and will also feature a jumbotron hanging from the roof of the centre court.
The jumbotron was installed this week ahead of Friday night’s opening event.
A national gymnastics event has already been held in the arena, but tonight will be the first time the full capacity of the showcourt has been utilised.
The reconfigured stadium now features 10 indoor basketball courts and 12 netball courts in the outdoor area, as well as more car parking and a new entrance hall.
New bar, kiosk and corporate hospitality facilities have also been installed, while administration offices have been updated.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the stadium was the biggest within regional Victoria and would benefit users at the elite and community levels.
“From grass roots through to elite sport, major concerts, expos and conferences, Bendigo Stadium will be a one-stop-shop for sport and events in the region,” Cr O’Rourke said.
“More than 10,000 people pass through the stadium to play sport each week. The expanded facilities will be able to accommodate more people and at more reasonable hours, so as to encourage them to live active and healthy lifestyles.”
On Sunday the stadium will host a family day from 10am to 3pm, with Braves players running clinics, netball and volleyball activities, food trucks, live music and more.
Tonight’s SEABL matches begin at 6pm with the unbeaten Braves women playing the Sabres women.
Tickets for the match are available via Ticketek for $5.
– Joel Peterson