Funding to upgrade Eureka Stadium has been agreed ©Getty Images

Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney believes hosting athletics during the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games will be a moment of history for the city.

His comments come after funding to the tune of AUD$150 million (£84 million/$95 million/€96 million) was pledged to upgrade Eureka Stadium, where track and field is due to be held in four years' time.

The cash for the venue, also known as Mars Stadium, has been granted by the State Government.

It will be used for 5,000 permanent and 18,000 temporary seats, taking capacity up to nearly 30,000, as well as the athletics track.

A warm-up facility will also be built at Ballarat Showgrounds which will remain after the Games.

As well as athletics, Ballarat will also stage boxing and mountain biking.

The stadium in Ballarat will host athletics during the 2026 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
The stadium in Ballarat will host athletics during the 2026 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

The city is known as the birthplace of Australian democracy after the Eureka Rebellion in 1854, which gives the stadium its name,

Miners protesting about gold licences launched an armed uprising against the Government which eventually led to men being granted the right to vote.

The eureka flag is now considered to be a national symbol.

Victoria 2026 will see sports spread out across the state with Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Melbourne and Shepparton also hosting events.

"This is another one of those moments when Ballarat will again be on the world stage," said Moloney to Times News Group.

"It's going to be one of the biggest things that we will see in our lifetime."

Other improvements will include upgrades to Ballarat's railway station which will benefit from AUD$50 million (£28 million/$31 million/€32 million) in funding.

New lifts and an overpass are due to be built.

Ballarat Saleyard, meanwhile, will be redeveloped to house 1,800 athletes and officials during the Games.

It will then be used as housing after the event.