|Geelong Baseball Centre - Austadiums|
The Geelong Baseball Centre opened in 2002 to coincide with the World Masters Games held in Victoria. It is now recognised as one of the best baseball facility of its type in Australia. Apart from club and state-based competitions, it hosts Australian under-aged events, the annual Victorian Masters, Provincial Carnivals and international "Friendship" series. In February 2006 and again in 2007, it was the venue for the Japanese Chiba Lotte Marines ball club's pre-season training camp. The Marines played games against full-strength Australian teams during their stay. The Geelong Baseball Centre will host the baseball competition for the 2009 Australian Masters Games.
The Geelong complex has four baseball grounds, two of which were substantially upgraded in 2007 as well as an aquatic centre which opened in the same year.
The jewel in the crown is of course the main stadium. It includes terraced seating for around 1,500 however it is planned that this will be extended considerably over time. Other features include lighting up to international standard, electronic scoreboard and associated infrastructure in the form of elevated commentary box, outfield sightboards, bullpen tunnels, meeting and dining areas and an indoor training facility. The main stadium is secured and there is ample car parking space.
Geelong is around 40 minutes drive from Melbourne and 50 minutes from Ballarat, so it is quite central and accessible. The baseball complex will become even more so when the Geelong city by-pass is completed, allowing traffic more direct access (the complex is on the south-western side of Geelong).