Design & Development

Architects appointed to lead Mars Stadium revamp ahead of Commonwealth Games

Featured image credit: Rooblu/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

The state government in Victoria has appointed architects to lead the A$150m (£81.9m/€93.3m/$101.6m) redevelopment of Ballarat’s Mars Stadium, while designers have been assigned to work on other venues that will be used during the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

The government announced in October that the 11,000-seat Mars Stadium, also known as Eureka Stadium, would undergo major redevelopment ahead of the Games. The stadium will stage athletics and para-athletics events during the Games.

As a result, a new athletics track will be built and the stadium’s permanent seated capacity will rise by 5,000. For the Games, an additional 18,000 temporary seats will be installed.

The government announced yesterday (Sunday) that Cox Architecture will partner with Ballarat-based Morton + Co Architects to lead the project from concept design phase through to detailed design and construction.

It is hoped the upgrades will enhance the fan experience both during the Games and in the years following the event. The stadium primarily serves as the home of the Western Bulldogs AFL Aussie rules football team, and is owned and operated by the City of Ballarat.

In other news, architecture firm Warren and Mahoney has partnered with Geelong-based Four18 Architecture as design consultants on the Armstrong Creek Aquatics venue, which will host swimming, para swimming and diving during the Games.

Australian firm ARM Architecture has been appointed to lead the design of the gymnastics, weightlifting and para powerlifting venue on Baanip Boulevard in Waurn Ponds. After the Games, the venue will feature multi-sport courts, a dance studio and a regional-level gymnastics centre.

Geelong will be home to nine sports for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which will be held across the state of Victoria. Geelong’s Kardinia Park will host the closing ceremony, which is set to attract 40,000 spectators.

The opening ceremony is set to be held at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the host-city list also featuring Bendigo and Gippsland.

Victoria was awarded hosting rights to the Games in April 2022. The 2026 event will be held across five towns and cities, marking the first-ever multi-location edition of the Games.