Only 12 Months Until Stadium Waimakariri Complete

With just one year to go, anticipation is building across the District as Stadium Waimakariri starts to take shape.

The Mayor, Councillors and staff from the North Canterbury Sport & Recreation Trust visited the stadium site last week.

Waimakariri District’s Mayor and Councillors toured the site last week alongside staff from the North Canterbury Sport & Recreation Trust who will manage the facility once complete.

Mayor Dan Gordon says it was wonderful to be able to walk through the building and get a sense of what the finished Stadium will feel like.

“It’s great to be able to have this sneak peek, I think our residents are going to be very pleased. Our contractors are doing a great job, progress is on track and it’s going to be a terrific asset for our community.”

Local sporting clubs have been eagerly awaiting the new multi-use facility as the District’s population and participation numbers swell, outgrowing available court space.

Basketball is one of the Waimakariri’s high participation sports and is challenged by the current lack of space. North Canterbury Basketball Association Chairperson, Gordon Wong, says the stadium will bring welcome relief, with programmes becoming available locally reducing the need for players to travel to Christchurch for training and competition.

“Having the Stadium will add untold benefit to the community, lessen financial strains for participants and volunteers, and enable organisations like ours to have a permanent hub from which to operate.”

North Canterbury Basketball Association Chairperson, Gordon Wong is looking forward to hosting tournaments locally.

Mr Wong admits that while burgeoning numbers seems a ‘good problem to have’, he looks forward to the day when they can host tournaments in the one venue.

“We can’t wait - not having to run between storage units and single court gyms will lessen the pressure on our families and volunteers.”

Waimakariri Stadium’s four standard-size courts will enable local sports clubs to host regional and national competitions, enticing highly competitive sporting tourist dollars to the region. Mr Wong says they're keen to host mid-sized tournaments, particularly for the younger age-groups where participation numbers are high.

“Normally, these tournaments are held in places such as Ashburton, Invercargill or Nelson, so having competitions here will allow local business to benefit from visitor income and help ensure the costs of competing are more equitable for our players.”

Progress on Stadium Waimakariri as of June 2020, it’s expected the facility will be completed in a year’s time.

Caroline Whittaker, Community Engagement Manager for the North Canterbury Sport & Recreation Trust, says they’re keen to see such tournaments in the bookings schedule.

“We want to see wide use of this fantastic facility by its residents in all forms, from fitness centre members, to interest groups and sporting clubs. We’ll be working alongside such organisations to create key events in the calendar, which will add a real drawcard to our region.”

Ms Whittaker says there will be a great social benefit to the community in having a wide range of activities using the venue.

“The combination of on-site staff from the sports clubs to the fitness gym, health and wellbeing clinics, our centre management, and of course the people from our communities – will create a great buzz within the Stadium. There will be so much on offer.”

The $28m multi-use sports facility will be approximately 6,000m2 in size and house four indoor courts. It will be home to a range of sports including futsal, handball, korfball, volleyball, netball, badminton and basketball. It also includes a central fitness facility, changing rooms, coaching and meeting spaces and seating for up to 500 spectators.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney architects, it aims to become a vibrant focus point for sport in the District. The Stadium can also easily be expanded in the future if required.

The site on Coldstream Road in Rangiora places it near other sporting grounds such as the MainPower Oval for cricket, MainPower Hockey Turf and the Maria Andrews Park football ground. Nearby Council-owned land is earmarked for a proposed tennis club.

Despite a small delay due to the Covid-19 Lockdown, construction is on schedule. It’s expected that the Stadium’s doors will open to the public towards the end of July 2021.