News, Events and Culture

Future of the home of sport in Palmerston North secured for future generations

Monday September 29 2014

The Arena Manawatū Master Plan was today adopted by Palmerston North City Council, setting in motion long-awaited improvements to the city’s leading sporting facility.

The master plan for Arena Manawatū is a framework of future developments and was created following a review. The plan focuses on the timing of future developments, improving partnerships with stakeholders and growing community use of the facilities. Alongside this it has also kick started several reviews, including management and marketing, pricing structure, and key performance indicators.

“The purpose of the review was to examine the overall facility and to reconfirm the Arena’s position as the city’s central sports hub” says Ray McIndoe, general manager City Enterprises.

“We’re confident that the review will meet the needs of various teams and individuals across the city and region, as well as benefitting those who travel from further away for events such as stock car racing and secondary school competitions”.

The review will be considered in the coming 2015 - 2025 Long Term Plan, with funding allocated across the ten year period to ensure that the development is financially sustainable.

Ray McIndoe says the Master Plan has prioritised future developments, thereby giving stadium users and residents alike some certainty.

The greatest priority for facility improvements is on those options that are affordable and contribute to maintaining or enhancing the value and revenue of the facility.

“However, partner organisations may be prepared to contribute to some improvements and Council will explore funding opportunities, particularly for a covered stand on the southern embankment of Arena 1. This may well bring forward the timing of those projects.”

Mr McIndoe says an example of this approach is Council’s current (2014/2015) commitment to replacing the big screen. Council has set aside $750,000 in this year’s Annual Plan, subject to $500,000 being raised externally.

Priority one projects:

  • Retractable seating for Arena 2, $500,000
  • Improved way finding, naming conventions and signage, $250,000
  • Floodlights installed for the rear fields, estimated to cost around $500,000.

Ray McIndoe says these improvements would add immediate value to player’s and visitor’s experience of the venue and the city, while contributing to the Regional Sport and Active Recreation Strategy of aiding and increasing people’s opportunities to be active.

Priority two projects:

  • A new entrance at Cuba Street
  • moving the stock car pits
  • upgrading the FMG Stadium embankment
  • enhancing the FMG Stadium Stand.

Priority three projects:

  • create pedestrian concourses
  • improve the entrance to Arena 2
  • complete rear fields
  • improve entrance at the corner of Cuba St and Waldegrave St.

Priority four projects:

  • New ticketing and offices next to Entrance 2
  • Replace Arena 5 with a new building on Waldegrave St
  • New covered south stand.

These projects will be carried out as and where funds in each annual plan allows.