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Agreement sees speedway remaining at Western Springs for additional year
Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with Springs Promotions Limited (SPL) promoter Bill Buckley to extend Speedway’s lease at Western Springs for 12 months.
The lease had been set to end at the close of the season, with the final fixture scheduled for 16th March, but with the replacement site identified by Auckland Council, Colin Dale Park, not yet fit for purpose, speedway will continue at the venue until 2020.
Commenting on the extension, RFA Chair, Andrew Barnes stated "we have come to an agreement with Mr Buckley that buys some time for Auckland Council to organise a permanent home for Speedway. We have succeeded in resolving the matter for now so Speedway can continue uninterrupted in the short term, but some critical and urgent decisions have to be made by Auckland Council so we do not find ourselves in this situation ever again.”
The agreement is aligned with an earlier, expired memorandum of understanding which had allowed for SPL to continue its events at Western Springs until the end of the 2019/20 season, while efforts were made to secure a suitable alternative venue for the speedway classes operating at Western Springs. He says RFA considered it reasonable to renew that offer of a one-year extension while the other deliberations around an alternative venue continue.
Buckley added “speedway’s view is that the proposed alternative venue of Colin Dale Park would be suitable, but we cannot move from Western Springs until it is ready, and Council has not yet approved the necessary funding to upgrade it. Speedway has a lot of very passionate supporters and we were never going to be thrown out of our home without an alternative in place.”
“We appreciate RFA’s collaborative approach in finding a short-term solution, but the problem remains and only Council can solve it. RFA and I have agreed that unless Council fixes this we will all find ourselves back dealing with this in a year’s time.”
Barnes concluded “RFA will work collaboratively with Council, as we have with Mr Buckley, but it is Council’s responsibility to take the lead and find a permanent home which meets the needs of Speedway fans and is appropriate for Auckland’s ratepayers. Speedway is part of the city’s sporting culture and it is not acceptable for it to have nowhere to go.”
29th January 2019 - New directors appointed to Regional Facilities Auckland board
28th May 2018 - Major sports back Auckland stadium strategy
19th May 2018 - Consultants report reopens debate on new Auckland Stadium
27th March 2018 - Search begins for new Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix venues
27th December 2017 - Motorsports facilities to boost Goulburn economy
17th July 2017 - Eventfinda partners with Vodafone Western Springs Speedway
23rd November 2017 - Auckland venues prepare for record-breaking summer
28th October 2017 - New ATEED Head of Tourism appointed
18th February 2015 - Fed Square’s Chris Brooks move to head Regional Facilities Auckland
11th December 2014 - $30 million investment to boost Auckland’s Stadiums
24th October 2012 - More consultation on Auckland Council stadium report
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