Council & City

Central Energy Trust Arena upgrade

Central Energy Trust Arena is already one of the most flexible sports and entertainment hubs in the country. Through phased projects between 2018 and 2022, we’re building on its existing success with new facilities to enhance and secure its future as a community and commercial venue worthy of attracting and delivering major events to entertain and activate a growing population.

The upgrade includes a new grandstand, corporate suites, an all-weather artificial turf, a new plaza and commercial entranceway, and purpose-built speedway pits. Watch our architect’s animated video to see an overview of our plans for phase one.

Why we’re upgrading the Arena

Central Energy Trust Arena serves the largest regional population in New Zealand (240,000). It has the greatest usage days per year and attracts the largest number of paying patrons.

While some of the Arena’s facilities are operating well, others need improvement. We have a masterplan to improve the Arena. The first phase is the introduction of all-weather surfaces. These officially open on Friday 11 October and dramatically enhance the usability of these spaces.

The next three phases have been approved by Council and will continue into 2020. This includes improving the capacity of Arena 1 along the southern and western embankments. The current sense of arrival at the Arena is poor, with ill-defined entrances, poor-quality fencing, plantings, gates and building frontages. Through this project, land on the corner of Waldegrave and Cuba Streets will become a welcoming entrance and meeting place, while the continuing Cuba Street redevelopment will greatly enhance the connection between the city centre and the Arena.

You can read more about the rationale behind the project and what we aim to achieve in the Central Energy Trust Arena Masterplan.

Key benefits

  • Increased participation in sport and recreation
  • Showcases how the city and region values sports, activity and social connection
  • Reinforces the Arena as one of the best multi-sport facilities in New Zealand
  • A fit-for-purpose facility with overlapping functions
  • Increased capacity to support sell-out Speedway events
  • An attractive facility that will encourage promoters to bring high profile entertainment events to Manawatū
  • Improved seating standards and capacity to meet the needs of high profile events and provide an improved viewing experience for fans
  • Attracts international, national and local sports competitions and tournaments for all ages

Completed: All-weather turf

Photo shows drone footage of new astro turf at the arena.

The artificial turf is one of the first improvements to Central Energy Trust Arena as part of the masterplan. It is the first of its kind in the region.

Current projects

Cuba Street entrance (programme 1083)

Photo shows artist's illustration of redeveloped Arena with new concourse.

Overbridge from entrance plaza to Arena.

A welcoming, attractive entrance plaza will draw visitors to the main Arena entrance and ticket gates. A landscaped pedestrian concourse will connect with Arena 5 and, potentially, hospitality and commercial office space (we're undertaking feasibility studies for this phase of the project).

Resource consent for this project was granted in October 2019. We'll issue a request for tenders at the end of October and engage the successful contractor in December.

Physical works are scheduled for March to October 2020.

Photo shows artist's illustration of new ticket kiosk being built as part of the Arena upgrade.

Ticket kiosk at plaza entry.

Speedway pits (programme 1082)

New speedway pit facilities will be developed along the southern side of the Arena complex behind the proposed new grandstand, directly adjacent to Cuba Street. These facilities will include a mixture of green space, concrete and asphalt, as well as services paramount to successful speedway operation, such as water, power and lighting.

Photo shows artist's illustration of redeveloped speedway pits.

An artist's illustration of the speedway pits. The green space can also be used as a multi-purpose recreational area when not in use by the speedway.

Resource consent for this project was granted in October 2019. We'll call for tenders at the end of October and engage the successful contractor in December. 

Physical works are scheduled for January to October 2020.

Embankment redevelopment (programme 1534)

Photo shows artist's illustration of redeveloped embankment from ground level.

Upgrading the western concourse embankment will provide improved public movement around the venue and a level connection into the first floor of the existing grandstand.

Phase one of this project will connect the embankment to the existing grandstand. The south embankment will supply services such as toilets, food and beverage mobile units and a hardstand area for current seating.

We plan to build a new grandstand on top of this structure in future (subject to securing external funding).

Resource consent for this project was granted in October 2019. We're calling for tenders for phase one at the end of October, and plan to engage a successful contractor in December.

Physical works for phase one are scheduled for March to October 2020.

Future developments

There are two potential additional projects that strongly link with the speedway pits and the embankment and entrance plaza:

  • A new south grandstand
  • A commercial building linked to the plaza bridge

We’ve carried out initial concept designs for these projects because they interlink with the three current projects.