Palmerston North’s Central Energy Trust Arena is the lower North Island’s regional sports and events hub. The multipurpose centre caters for many different sporting codes, community activities, trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and concerts.

While there are fit for purpose facilities within the Arena, there are areas that could be improved. Partnerships are an important part of our work and we've identified an opportunity to create better synergies by basing Sport Manawatu and other sports organisations at Central Energy Trust Arena.

The masterplan for Central Energy Trust Arena was released last year and includes the projects listed below. Some are dependent on external funding such as donations, grants and sponsorship.

Proposed actions Proposed timing Cost
All weather pitch
Installing an all-weather playing field (programme number 1082)
2018-19 $1,400,000

Includes $700,000
of non-council funding

Speedway pits
Relocating and improving the speedway pits to provide space for the new entrance plaza (programme number 1082)
2018-20 $7,074,000

Includes $1,015,000
of non-council funding

Cuba Street entrance plaza
A new open plaza entranceway and concourse that links the city centre and Arena, and makes it easier to find your way to events and activities held there (programme number 1083)
2018-21 $5,725,000
New southern grandstand
A covered grandstand on the Cuba Street side of the speedway / rugby field (programme number 990)
2018-22 $9,267,000

Includes $6,317,000
of non-council funding
Sport House
Sport Manawatu is proposing to build and own office space at the Arena for itself and other sports organisations. Council is proposing to make a contribution (programme number 1430)
2019-21 $1,548,000

Western embankment concourse
A link on the Pascal Street side between the new and existing grandstands to provide better access between them, and improved viewing of the speedway / rugby field (programme number 1083)

2021-23 $1,900,000

Options and implications

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
Options Complete projects in the suggested order.

This is our preferred option
Complete projects in a different order and/or timing Complete only one or two of the projects Do no improvement projects
City Implications This would ensure a staged approach to developing the Central Energy Trust Arena as a multipurpose hub for sport and recreation

The most important areas for improvement would be addressed first
May not have a staged, prioritised approach This could lead to the facility not meeting some sport and spectator expectations The facility would be maintained but with a lack of improvements might not meet sporting and spectator needs
Financial Implications Our 10 Year Plan includes provision for $25.4m of capital expenditure, $8m of which it is assumed would be funded from external sources and the balance from debt. Once complete this would add approximately $40 a year to the average residential rate, to service and repay debt. Each $10m of capital expenditure funded by the Council adds approximately $23 to the average residential rate, so if fewer of the projects are done the increase in rates will be lower than $40 a year.

Our 10 Year Plan consultation process has now closed. Thanks to everyone who has provided us with feedback on our projects and the options we laid out for them.

We will be finalising the 10 Year Plan based on this feedback in June and will confirm the option chosen once this is complete.

23 April, 2018

Katie says:

“Option 3. I really don't think we should be putting more money into the pits for stock cars. ”

22 April, 2018

Katheryn Margaret says:

“I agree with the need for a southern covered grandstand but do not believe there is a need to create another entrance (Cuba st) ”

22 April, 2018

Hugh says:

“If we're going to spend community money we need community benefits, and community access. School sports can't afford to use the arena now.”

21 April, 2018

James C says:

“Totally support option1. Get into it. ”

20 April, 2018

Jono says:

“Option 3 or 4. Make the user pay for it...they are going to be getting the benefits”

20 April, 2018

Thomas says:

“Not so sure on the new stand, but certainly in favour of upgrades where needed. ”

19 April, 2018

Stadium Guy says:

“It should be a 25-30,000 retractable roof stadium so we can have teams like the AB's playing here. Or even have someone like Joseph Parker.”

19 April, 2018

Angela says:

“Do not increase debt save from the revenue made from council fees directly related to the stadium it is a business run it as such. ”

17 April, 2018

Elizabeth Clouston says:

“Like the idea of Cuba Street entrance plaza but needs to also include safe cycle intrastructure and public transport options.”

17 April, 2018

Anne says:

“The speedway should not be allowed at the Arena due to the noise,pollution and associated after event problems.”

12 April, 2018

Chrissy says:

“It would be lovely to have a fully covered arena like Dunedin, that might encourage bands and artists like Ed sheeran etc to play here,”

12 April, 2018

DH says:

“Opt 1 - PN needs revenue generating events through fit for purpose facilities. Look beyond 10yrs & pick 3 major national events PN can lead”