Whyalla is in the grip of footy fever

READY TO ROLL: Cohen Smith and Tah-Leigh Richardson are looking forward to seeing their beloved teams clash at Bennett Oval on March 7.
READY TO ROLL: Cohen Smith and Tah-Leigh Richardson are looking forward to seeing their beloved teams clash at Bennett Oval on March 7.

The redevelopment of Bennett Oval is nearing completion and tickets for the Marsh Community Series AFL pre-season game between Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs are expected to sell out as footy fever grips Whyalla.

According to council data, Whyalla has sold more tickets for the clash than any other pre-season game in Australia.

The surface of Bennett Oval is now up to AFL standard thanks to the dedicated work of a small council team while Mossop Constructions have been working on renovating the grandstand.

Acting CEO Kristen Clark said site meetings between council and Mossop Constructions showed the project was well on track for the AFL match in March.

"The oval is looking great and would have been ready for an AFL game on Christmas Day," Kristen said.

"We had a lot of people, who fly in to Whyalla, say they see the oval from the air and they've never seen it so green.

"That was always the plan to have the surface ready early and that has involved new irrigation and bringing the grass up to scratch.

"We've had several visits from AFL, Port Adelaide, South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) and South Australian National Football League (SANFL) officials to view the surface and help with the project."

The coming weeks will see the grandstand changerooms, new showers and toilets, public toilets and a DDA (toilet for those with a disability) amenity installed at the oval.

Bar and canteen facilities are now in place at the oval, and the handover of the facility to council is scheduled for February 19.

"It has been a fantastic effort from Mossop Constructions, Council staff and many local contractors to get this project off the ground so quickly, on track so smoothly for this big AFL game in Whyalla and for future uses of this magnificent oval and facilities," Mr Clark said.

General admission tickets for the March 7 game are now on sale, and council confirmed they are expecting to sell out. Tickets are available via Ticketek.