Many local businesses have scored big-time in recent years from the development of sporting facilities, with over $150 million worth of investment in sports facility assets throughout the region.
Some of the biggest projects are now set for completion and are being handed over to local sports trusts to welcome users – predominantly Hawke’s Bay residents – and create economic windfalls from national and international sporting events.
Hawke’s Bay now has the potential to host events such as national and international Masters Games that use multiple venues, through to junior and senior Pacific, Oceania or world championships for canoe polo, athletics, basketball, volleyball and cricket.
The Mitre 10 Park in Hastings is now the largest multisport facility in New Zealand.
The sports park was created after Hastings District Council (HDC) sold Nelson Park – the home to athletics, rugby and league – for $18 million to be converted into large format retail in 2007. Council used $11 million of the sale proceeds to part fund the new sports park.
Today Mitre 10 Park is the regional home of netball, athletics, canoe polo and rugby league, joined by clubs and competitions in football, hockey, rugby, touch rugby, Ki o Rahi and futsal; and via the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust (HBCFCT), there’s a fitness centre, high-performance gym, indoor sprint track, pole vault, café, medical services, meeting rooms and onsite accommodation.
As the Mitre 10 Park’s chief executive Jock MacIntosh puts it, a simple survey at athletic events confirms the sports park and the region offers everything athletes and their supporters want.
“When we host big athletics events, I survey attendees and ask how they rate the venue –we average over nine out of ten every time. I know I’m a bit biased but we are really lucky to have such a fantastic facility.”
Thanks to the vision of Sir Graeme Avery, who also led the development of the Millennium Institute of Sport, the Mitre 10 Park will this year welcome a $32 million regional aquatic centre with a 50-metre International Swimming Federation (FINA) global elite standard pool, a learn- to-swim pool and a hydrotherapy pool; a $5 million hostel with 60 beds; and a $3 million extension of the existing EIT Institute of Sport and Health Centre.
Operated by the HBCFCT, the three capital projects have been funded by the Lotteries Significant Projects Fund, the Provincial Growth Fund and the Infrastructure Reference Group’s shovel- ready funding.
First published by The Profit. Click here to read the full article.