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Wellington Council identifies site for new indoor arena

Wellington Council identifies site for new indoor arena
November 28, 2018

Wellington City Council has settled on a waterfront location for a proposed new indoor entertainment and sports arena that will seek to attract major events to New Zealand’s capital.

A 12,000-seat arena has been identified as vital for the city in attracting large-scale national and international acts with design firms WSP Opus and Cox Architects putting forward five potential sites to the Greater Wellington Regional Strategy Committee meeting, including three on CentrePort land at Kings Wharf.

Explaining the location, Wellington Mayor Justin Lester stated “the Kings Wharf option has been identified as clearly the best location.”

Mayor Lester advised that the project has in-principle support from the region’s mayors, commenting “the market is there in Wellington but we don’t have the offering. The Gemba report earlier this year told us that.”

The report from sport and entertainment agency Gemba, released in April, looked at the constraints of the existing 6,000-seat TSB Arena. It also examined trends in arena development, the competitive landscape and the health of the live entertainment and large event industry.

It estimated the larger events a 12,000-seat indoor arena could attract would be worth about $26 million in economic benefit to the region per year.

Mayor Lester added “bigger acts could make New Zealand a destination by performing at bigger venues in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, rather than tacking us on to the end of an Australian tour.

“The arena could be the catalyst for a raft of new development in the area, with a mixture of commercial, retail and residential, both private and affordable.

“The precinct development would be required to off-set the costs of a new arena. The next step will be working with our partners on the land and looking at the precinct development options.”

Planning work will be done in parallel with CentrePort’s work on a potential new multi-use ferry terminal. However, reports indicate that the availability of the land and funding for the project remains uncertain.

The Council’s long-term development plan includes an $85.7 million contribution to an indoor arena, but final costs are not known at this time.

Mayor Lester said the new venue would be developed in a private-public partnership similar to the Spark Arena in Auckland, concluding “I won’t go into names at the moment. We would go in with experienced promoters and venue operators, coupled with precinct development partners.”

Related Articles

24th June 2018 - Adverse weather causes cancellation of international ice hockey game at Westpac Stadium

24th April 2018 - WREDA report supports case for new Wellington indoor arena

7th March 2018 - Bruno Mars sets new attendance record at Auckland’s Spark Arena

26th February 2018 - Gemba launches Turnstile platform for accurate sports sponsorships valuation

2nd September 2017 - Vision for new Wellington indoor arena backed by regional mayors

19th June 2017 - Wellington region mayors advance plans for new 12,000-seat arena

17th May 2017 - Promoters slam exclusive Wellington venues ticket deal

20th April 2017 - Naming rights change sees Auckland’s Vector Arena become the Spark Arena

24th September 2015 - New Wellington agency aims to boost city’s prosperity

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