Bendigo Stadium hopes to retain its status as the premier sporting and entertainment venue in regional Victoria if Nathan O’Neill has his way.
Mr O’Neill is the chief executive officer of Bendigo Stadium Limited, which operates the Borough Club, St Arnaud Sports Complex and the 4000 seat Bendigo Stadium.
The stadium’s $23 million show court redevelopment in 2018 has triggered a shift in its purpose and role in the community.
This is reflected in Bendigo Stadium Limited’s recently released 2020-25 strategic plan.
“The redevelopment encouraged a new way of thinking, in turn, leading to greater community connection.
“Whether you visit our hospitality venues, attend an event, or participate in community sport, our team will deliver an outstanding experience, every time,” Mr O’Neill said.
Basketball, netball and boxing have been just some of the events hosted by the revamped stadium courts.
Last August’s Battle of Bendigo boxing event, which saw Melbourne’s Michael Zerafa stun crowd favourite Jeff Horn in front of 4700 people is testament to the stadium’s wider appeal, according to Mr O’Neill.
“28 per cent of the full capacity crowd drove up the highway from Melbourne.
“This highlights the significant impact major events can have on our local economy,” Mr O’Neill said.
The venue is noted as adaptable by Mr O’Neill, hosting conferences, trade shows and entertainment, in addition to regular sporting events.
“We rival metropolitan venues now, and we will see more events being lured from venues that have been accustomed to hosting these events in the past.
“The redeveloped Bendigo Stadium is unquestionably a defining moment for Bendigo tourism,” he said.
The latest strategic plan cites its purpose as providing unrivalled opportunities and enhanced liveability through exceptional experiences for the benefit of all.
This applies both on and off the court, Mr O’Neill said.
“We have over 300 people as part of our team and provide employment across many career choices.
“Whether you choose a career in business or sport, we are providing a pathway to excel here in Bendigo,” Mr O’Neill said.
An increase in the number of music events hosted by Bendigo Stadium in the next two years is another focus.
“As we host music events in the future, we will find there will be a greater appetite for international artists when they are familiar with our fantastic facilities in Bendigo.
“Look out for this in the back half of the year,” Mr O’Neill said.
Courtesy of Bendigo Weekly