New stadium long overdue

Photo: Peter White.

Nothing seems to rark up the good citizens of Tauranga more than the need for a winter sports and events stadium.

Despite the city’s population growing at a rate quicker than the grass verges in early-December, the lack of support for a stadium we can all be proud of is deafening.

For someone like me who grew up in this beautiful city, with St Mary’s School and Tauranga Boys’ College to thank for my education, it annoys me the dilapidated old Tauranga Domain is still used for hosting the Bay of Plenty Steamers and major summer music festivals.

While other much smaller towns and cities in New Zealand have stadia to be proud of, and use sporting facilities to showcase their treasured part of the country to the world, we have something that was built in the 1950s.

The Bay Oval Trust showed what can be done with the right attitude and a can-do way of thinking to get the superb Bay Oval cricket stadium established. It now ranks as one of the very best cricket venues in New Zealand and I understand will soon be allocated test matches by NZ Cricket.

Now I know when the domain is spruced up with temporary stands and colourful marquees, it looks great on television. It was the perfect venue for last month’s TECT National Sevens and people love going there because it is a short walk to downtown restaurants and bars.

But the lack of spectator capacity makes it severely limiting.

But is second best really what the fastest growing city in NZ deserves? A new facility needs to be multi-purpose, with conference and wedding facilities, and be available for rugby, league, football, rock concerts, plus indoor and outdoor exhibitions.

The good news is there are opportunities for alternative funding sources other than the over-stretched Tauranga City Council ratepayers.

A combination of Bay of Plenty Regional Council money and private investors would be the ideal solution. Meetings are due to take place between key stakeholders, which is a positive step.

That leaves the final conundrum – what is the best location to put a stadium?

During the next 12 months a feasibility study is expected to be done to evaluate options. Watch this space for updates.


5 Comments

the trouble with stadiums is that

Posted on 05-01-2019 13:34 | By earlybird

they cost a lot to build and are generally underutilized. So, before TCC decide to build a stadium I would like to see what affect it would have on my rates, and by that I mean a realistic all up cost and not some mystical figure plucked out of the air and then given the TCC spin.

hang on a minute

Posted on 05-01-2019 10:06 | By old trucker

Me TINKS this is already done, TCC a very SNEAKY about things like this,TCC like upsetting people and they never put names of people in charge in things like this, gosh they must think we are made of money, golly gosh they TCC have given THOUSANDS of $$$$$$$$$ to keep that eyesore down town to keep going, me wonders if there is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST HERE when its a private affair, just wondering.10-4 out. phew.

silly

Posted on 05-01-2019 06:28 | By So Tired

Firstly, this "study" should be scrapped, as we, as a city shouldn’t even begin to consider a new stadium until we get our important issues sorted. And secondly considering a NEW stadium at all is pure idiocy. Im the first to concede that bay park isn’t up to scratch as a sporting venue, but that can be remedied, and comes with many advantages over any proposed new venue. Move speedway to TECT Park where it can’t interfere with other goings on, and redevelop what’s left of the stadium. Accessibility, parking, and traffic management plans all right there ready to go....you cant say that for any other site around the city. This feasibility study will be a load of old cobblers and will lack any kind of impartiality. No new stadium. No Museum. No more Rates Increases.

stadium

Posted on 04-01-2019 21:57 | By dumbkof2

just another grandiose scheme by the tcc . by the time they have had all the ideas looked into including resource consents feasability studies inviromental impact reports consulting with mutiple iwi etc you can add another 20 mil onto the price and it still wouldnt solve the parking and access problems. tcc already own baypark. there is no problem with parking and access. just spend a quarter of the amount they would spend on the domain on baypark and we will have a world class facility,the only ones that want it at the domain are the local pubs and clubs

Second rate stadium or infrastructure?

Posted on 04-01-2019 20:16 | By Ron

Much as I would like a flash new stadium the last few days have clearly shown rhat our road infrastructure can’t cope with large crowds. The absolutely worst place would be to cram a stadium in at the end of a narrow peninsula where the Domain is. Bay park seems to work best out of a bad bunch as it mainly gets traffic to skirt the city suburbs. But if it is a choice we clearly need to get the roads working first.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

Did the ’unruly’ traveller family get a fair go in NZ?

Yes
No

VOTE
VIEW RESULTS