Author:Regional Facilities Auckland
Source:Regional Facilites Auckland
The future needs of Auckland and Aucklanders have been a major focus of civic planning in recent years and that has extended to the city’s sport, entertainment and cultural venues.
Under its responsibilities to support Auckland’s arts, culture, heritage, leisure, sport and entertainment sectors Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) undertook a major consultation process in 2012 on the strategic direction of Auckland’s major outdoor stadiums. Feedback was received from a number of stakeholder organisations including national and regional sporting organisations, stadium users, local boards, neighbourhood groups and the Eden Park Trust Board. The organisations involved in this engagement process represented in excess of 500,000 individuals. From this feedback the RFA formed a view that the Auckland Stadiums network was not ideally placed to meet current and future needs, and was unnecessarily costly to users, had high compliance costs for owners and in many cases delivered sub-optimal facilities and services to spectators. From this came the first iteration of the stadiums strategy.
In 2015, RFA was instructed by Council to re-engage with key stakeholders on the Stadiums Strategy as an outcome of the 2015-24 Long Term Plan process which approved the Stadiums Strategy and funding. That consultation highlighted the need to consider long term needs of Auckland and New Zealand including options for the location of major international stadiums catering for football codes and cricket.
This refreshed strategy covering the next 20 years is based on further extensive stakeholder feedback, research and engagement undertaken subsequently which expanded upon the need for specialisation and fit-for-purpose venues; high performance facilities to meet the growing training and development needs of sports codes; and new venues to cater for changing user and fan expectations and to accommodate major events, concerts and sporting code needs. This generates an opportunity to attract third party investment into High Performance and other facilities along with other new commercial opportunities.
The over-arching objectives of the strategy remain to provide an integrated management model for Auckland’s major stadia infrastructure, enhance fan experience, increase revenue, minimise operating costs across all stadia, significantly increase venue utilisation, and remove duplication in capital investment, to the benefit of Auckland ratepayers.
In terms of scope, this Venue Development Strategy is focused on Auckland’s major outdoor stadiums. Further research and consultation will need to occur regarding Auckland’s indoor venues (such as Trusts Arena, the North Shore Events Centre and Spark Arena) to align around Auckland’s future needs and aspirations.