Saxton ready for diverse shows

Stadium now city's main event venue

Last updated 13:00 03/02/2014
Music in the Mountains
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
HANG 'EM HIGH: Artists Linda Morris, front left, Brian Strong and Tony Allain with Art Expo managers, Louise Allan, back left, Nic Foster and Annie Leather.

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Saxton Stadium, more used to netball than art, will also host cats, gardens and blokes this year.

It will pick up 10 events that were to be held at the Trafalgar Centre.

The Nelson City Council shut the Trafalgar Centre in December because of earthquake risk, and will consider options at its next meeting on February 27.

A schedule of events to be transferred from the Trafalgar Centre to Saxton Stadium in Stoke has now been finalised, subject to a fire safety report being prepared by a consultant fire engineer.

Saxton will host a leisure marching event on March 7 and 8; the first of nine Nelson Giants basketball games on April 4 with the last one on June 27; a Power Store expo from April 14 to 21; the Tactix v Central Pulse game on May 11; the Cat Show on June 29; Art Expo Nelson on July 11 to 13; a local government conference dinner on July 21; the Blokes Day Out on September 20; the Parent Child Expo on September 26 and 27 and the Home and Garden Show on October 10 to 13.

Sport Tasman's general manager of facilities Brent Maru said: "It might have been more of a shock and learning curve if we had not had the floods last year."

The floods damaged the Saxton Stadium which had to close while repairs were made and a new floor laid, which meant sports codes and administration had to shift from there.

That had proved good experience for this year and for maximising the use of Saxton, he said.

"It's given us the ability to put in pretty good systems to meet changing needs," he said.

It will mean a tight timeframe at times, such as holding a volleyball tournament on Friday, April 11; netball games on Saturday then setting up for the Giants match that night, then packing down for more netball on Sunday.

The Regional Art Development Initiative (RADi) organisers said they were glad Saxton Stadium had come to the rescue to keep the three-day Art Expo Nelson 2014 in Nelson while the Trafalgar Centre was closed.

The annual event had attracted more than 8000 art lovers and buyers and to date had sold nearly $200,000 worth of local and South Island art.

Project manager Nic Foster said: "The team at Art Expo Nelson is grateful for the hard work some people have gone to, including the Saxton Stadium management, to keep this event in Nelson and our creative people flourishing.

"With the increased space, enhanced lighting and superb facilities and parking at Saxton Stadium, we are looking at increasing our exhibiting artist numbers which in turn will attract more people into the region to buy art."

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Art Expo Nelson had needed to change the expo date to a week later because of the venue change and it would now coincide with Light Nelson. "We are looking forward to working with the Light Nelson Trust to attract more people into the region and share visitors over what is shaping up to be three days and nights of amazing artistic displays in mid winter."

- Nelson

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