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Auckland Regional Council plans to increase sports field capacity

Auckland Regional Council plans to increase sports field capacity
April 4, 2013

With the aim of increase sports field capacity to meet at least 80% of projected demand by 2022, Auckland Regional Council is investing $190 million into developing, upgrading and renewing sports fields across the Auckland region.

The programme is a combination of regionally funded projects and local board identified and funded projects and will include installing artificial turfs and sand carpet fields, renewing existing fields, lighting, draining and new field development.

By the end of the programme, Aucklanders will be able to enjoy an additional 2,476 training hours per week through:

• 66 fields with drainage improvements;
• 134 new sand carpet fields;
• 139 fields with new training lights;
• 37 new artificial turf fields.

An in depth Council study carried out in 2011/2012 identified a major shortfall in sports field capacity, particularly for training purposes, and showed that sports fields are not spread evenly across the region.

The Council then used this information to develop a methodology for prioritising work and increasing capacity using sports turf advisors to assess all 747 council owned, leased or managed winter sports fields across the region and developed a draft 10 year programme that has been endorsed and is underway.

Local boards, through their local board plans, have allocated and will continue to allocate, money to sports field development at the sports parks in their areas. Through the Long-term Plan, the governing body allocated an additional $84.9 million to increasing sports field capacity. The boards identified that sport was an important way for Aucklanders to keep fit and healthy and that the current shortfall must be addressed.

Year one (2012/2013) activities included regionally-funded artificial turf construction with new surfaces at Michaels Avenue in Ellerslie and Starling Park in Ranui now ready for play while Seddon Fields in Westmere should be available during May.

Year two (2013/2014) activities will see fields in 40 of the region's sports parks upgraded during the summer. The projects will include artificial turf fields, new and renewed sand carpet fields, flood lighting and drainage improvements.

Beyond the first two years, Council turf advisors will continue to work with regional sports organisations, clubs, groups and partners, reviewing the programme annually, with the following year's projects being confirmed during the review.

This will allow the Council the flexibility to deal with any situations such as changes in demand, geotechnical issues or soil contamination, new turf technologies or new land becoming available.

For more information go to

Image: Seddon Fields





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