A new look for stadium, but no roof
What do you think of the planned $29million facelift for Westpac Stadium?
Westpac Stadium is getting a $29million facelift - but hardy fans will still have to endure Wellington's wind and rain because a roof won't be part of it.
Details of a new "masterplan" for the stadium, which opened in 2000, are being published today, and include a covered entrance area and landscaping along the walkway, new mezzanine bars with harbour views as part of a revamped concourse, and a complete recladding of the outside.
Behind the scenes, the changing rooms, media areas and match offices will also be revamped.
The work – which will begin in stages from next year – will be funded from the Westpac Stadium Trust's cash resources, and will require no ratepayer money.
Trust chairman Paul Collins said the stadium had to retain a competitive edge against the revamped Eden Park and Dunedin's new Forsyth Barr Stadium. "If we sit back and do nothing, over time the quality of the facility will deteriorate ... It's making sure we stay relevant."
Changes to the concourse will include more windows, and two mezzanine bars where fans can gather before games. The first is planned for the 2013-14 financial year.
"We're not talking about something for members or corporates – this is something for the public," Mr Collins said. There will also be renovations to the members-only areas and corporate boxes.
Stadium chief executive David Gray said the redevelopment would help the stadium retain key events such as the rugby sevens while also making sure it was ready for two world cup events in 2015 – the Cricket World Cup and the Under-20s Fifa World Cup.
The final look of the reclad stadium had not been decided, but one option was to use the plastic cladding used on Beijing's Olympic Aquatic Centre, which can be lit up in different colours.
However, a roof was not on the cards, Mr Collins said. It would cost up to $80m, which the trust could not afford without asking ratepayers to chip in.
"You could debate that the money would be better spent on funding a purpose-built 12,000-seat indoor arena to attract the concerts that are currently touring and bypassing Wellington."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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