A new indoor arena for the New Zealand city of Wellington is a step closer, with mayors instructing the region’s economic development agency to begin work towards a business case for the project.
At the Wellington Regional Strategy Committee, the region’s mayors viewed concept designs produced by arena designers Cox Architecture, supported by Opus Architecture, for a 10,000 seat multi-purpose arena, with the ability to increase capacity to more than 12,000 as required.
Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says the arena is important for the development of the arts in the capital, “A major new arena will be a big boost for Wellington and help us attract even more international acts. Currently we have capacity for just 5600 people at an indoor concert, compared to 12,000 at Spark Arena in Auckland and 8800 in Christchurch. A bigger venue will mean we can compete for the big acts and be a long-term boost for the local economy.”
Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy says the region has been missing out on the growth in live events, “Since 2012, the revenue from live performances in New Zealand has grown by nearly 100%, while growth from the same source in Wellington has been hampered due to a lack of venues. A new arena will help our region get its share of this growing industry, which will mean more money and more jobs, as well as more options for concert goers.”
Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace says the mayors have instructed the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) to begin the work on a proposal for the stadium, “We’re keen to see a city location that could accommodate more than 12,000 people. We’ve instructed our economic development agency to work with the regional and city councils to assess the various options for a location, design, cost and funding and to develop the feasibility study.
“It’s great to see all the councils in the region working together on a major project like this. This shows the benefits of working together, and what we can achieve when we think and act as a region.”
Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson says tourism in the region will also benefit, “We know that major concerts mean more money in the pockets of local hoteliers, motels and accommodation providers. Bigger events will mean more guest nights and more tourism spending. This isn’t just a win for concert goers, this is a boost for economic development.”