By MATTHEW MCKEW
A $151 million overhaul of Queenstown Events Centre – including the resort’s first full-size artificial turf pitches – is set public consultation.
The proposal includes an extension to the swimming pool and new buildings, where the existing main carpark is, which will house multipurpose indoor courts and a squash facility.
The redesign involves the “possible” relocation of Frankton golf course, in favour of a new carpark and the two artificial turf pitches.
These are welcome additions for the sports community, Queenstown Rovers men’s senior football coach Jamie Whitmarsh says.
“It’s a great step forward, it’s something we need and is long overdue.”
Whitmarsh says it’s vital the artificial pitches have floodlights, so they can be used by adult teams after work.
The first pitch will be a multisport turf for football and hockey and the second, subject to the long-term plan, will be grass, for rugby and football.
These will potentially offer an alternative to when the football and rugby pitches are flooded in winter or are out of action over summer because of cricket.
The largest of the new buildings will house indoor cricket, while new studio/fitness facilities to the rear of Alpine Aqualand would double as clubrooms for sports teams.
City Hall’s community and services committee voted to put that project, and a $73m redevelopment of Wanaka’s Rec Centre, out for public consultation at its meeting on Thursday.
New outdoor netball/tennis courts are also included in the masterplan, as well as a wastewater heat recovery system.
The council instructed Boffa Miskell and Global Leisure Group to develop a masterplan for the Events Centre in 2018 and it was completed in November last year.
Covid-19 delayed a public consultation, but the plan was sent to the government to be considered for ‘shovel-ready funding’.
Queenstown’s already received $85m from the pot for part of a new arterial route and a town centre upgrade.
Last month, Finance Minister Grant Robertson told a Queenstown Chamber of Commerce forum the town should “look out for more to come in this regard” – there’s no news yet on whether the Events Centre’s been successful.
The council report says $69m will be needed for the first half of the Events Centre project between 2021-31.