Storm Set to Cause a Sensation in Ballarat in 2022

Ballarat will host a NRL pre-season match for the first time when Melbourne Storm take on Newcastle Knights on 27 February 2022 at Mars Stadium in a win for rugby league fans and local businesses.

Member for Wendouree Julianna Addison and Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle today joined Melbourne Storm CEO Justin Rodski to announce the inaugural match will be delivered with support from the Regional Events Fund.

The event will attract up to 10,000 spectators with many loyal Storm members and fans expected to make the trip to Ballarat, injecting a welcome boost to hotels, restaurants, bars and other attractions.

The match will bolster Ballarat’s reputation as a regional city for premium sporting events with Mars Stadium already playing host to the Western Bulldogs since 2017, and more matches locked in until 2024 with support from the Victorian Government.

Mars Stadium is one of state’s best sporting venues and the Victorian Government has invested $38.47 million to redevelop the Eureka Sports Precinct, followed by a $6.6 million upgrade for new entrances, new ticket boxes and covered areas, and increased accessible seating in the Western and Eastern stands.

The $20 million Regional Events Fund is a critical component of the $633 million Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan and supports festivals, sports events, creative exhibitions and other cultural celebrations.

Supported by Visit Victoria, the event will increase economic benefits to Victoria by helping to drive visitor numbers and length of stay, thereby boosting spending in regional areas, growing jobs and contributing to the state’s reputation as Australia’s leading events destination.

Since 2016, the Victorian Government’s Regional Events Fund has funded more than 250 events across the state, bringing thousands of visitors to regional locations and supporting local jobs.

Melbourne Storm will play at Mars Stadium on 27 February 2022, with more information available at

Quote attributable to Member Wendouree Julianna Addison

“The Victorian Government is thrilled to bring the first NRL match to Ballarat. Victorians love a good sporting contest and Mars Stadium will be the place to see Storm battle it out with the Knights in February next year.”  

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“We’re supporting a wide range of events across Victoria because they encourage people to get out and see our great state and enjoy the wide range of experiences on offer in the regions.”

­Quotes attributable to Melbourne Storm CEO Justin Rodski

“Thanks to the Victorian Government, we now have the opportunity to give Storm members and fans in Ballarat and the region a chance to see the best of rugby league in their own city.”

“The last two years have obviously been challenging for all Victorians, and we were particularly keen to give as many people as possible in regional Victoria the chance to see the team up close and personal. We have a lot of members and fans in regional Victoria who have stuck by the Club over the last two years and I know the team will want to give something back in return of their support.”

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