Central Energy Trust Arena improvements

Aerial view of the Arena, with the new overbridge and stockcar pits, and the oval and grandstand in the background.

We're planning to develop a new building at this iconic Palmy venue and invest in new turfs and amenities. The plans are part of the updated masterplan for Central Energy Trust Arena, adopted by Council in November 2023.

The development budget has been set at $36 million. We sought feedback on this as part of our Long-Term Plan 2024-34. 

Central Energy Trust Arena is our 18.5 hectares flexible sports and entertainment hub in the heart of our city centre. Home to more than 30 sporting codes, it hosts about 3,000 events each year, bringing in more than 450,000 visitors.

Our masterplan for the Arena focuses on how we can continue to improve the facility, bringing vibrant events to our city centre, and the significant economic impact this has. The speedway season alone brings around $25 million to our local economy. 

Plan showing the location of facilities at Central Energy Trust Arena.


Between 2018 and 2022, we completed the first stages of the masterplan, starting with a new artificial turf and then entrance plaza, including pedestrian bridge, entrance plaza and digital screens. Palmy’s iconic speedway has also benefited through relocating the speedway pits. They’re more user-friendly for drivers and crews, as well as more visible to speedway spectators. These areas are dual purpose and able to host community activities, like Puanga Festival and MidCentral DHB’s drive-through Covid centre. We've also improved the lighting, embankment seating and amenities spaces.

Our upgrades to Cuba Street to widen the footpaths and narrow the road also help the Arena thrive as it encourages visitors to enjoy our city centre and support businesses and hospitality in the area, as well as provide a safe, comfortable walking route to the facility.

Our masterplan was created in 2017, and a review was developed in 2023 in partnership with Rangitane o Manawatū to deliver on our shared goals for community wellbeing.

Workshops were held with elected members and Council officers to understand the city’s wider imperatives, contextual issues and opportunities. All external user groups with a vested interest in Central Energy Trust Arena (such as users of the facilities, Sport Manawatū and the Central Economic Development Agency) were invited to participate in an online survey and a series of targeted group interviews in January and February 2023. We had a good response, with around half of all users completing the online survey and a high proportion participating in group interviews. 

Following the review we've updated the masterplan to consider stakeholder and user group input and identified needs. It also addresses areas of the facility that are under-performing or present safety and security risks. Several potential projects have been identified.


61 Pascal Street, Palmerston North Central 4410  View Map

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