Upgrades to Molyneux Park in pipeline as Otago Cricket looks at four-day match

Molyneux Park in Alexandra where a four-day first-class cricket match is being considered.
Rhys Chamberlain

Molyneux Park in Alexandra where a four-day first-class cricket match is being considered.

Molyneux Park's cricket facilities may be in for a $300,000 upgrade with several projects under consideration.

A meeting between Otago Cricket and the Central Otago District Council identified four projects key to the economic value of cricket in the Central Otago region.

The first project was a $26,200 financial commitment from the council to maintain the ground, which would allow a first-class four-day cricket match to be played at the Alexandra ground in the 2017/2018 season.

The $26,200 would be used for a second trained groundsman for a four-month period over the summer.

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It was recommended the expenditure be included in the council's long term plan to 2028.

That would be decided at a Vincent Community Board meeting on Tuesday as well as whether to support an application to the Central Lakes Trust and Otago Community Trust for a $37,000 grant for new pitch covers.

A Vincent Community Board report from council Parks and Recreation manager Mathew Begg outlines advantages of continued promotion of Molyneux Park as a first-class cricketing venue and the potential economic benefit of hosting matches in Alexandra.

Rejecting the recommendation would mean no four-day match at all.

The economic value of cricket at Molyneux Park was about $220,000 a year, the report says. This figure was an independent Otago Country Cricket estimate of all cricket from club through to Otago Volts matches. 

Other projects being considered were a $100,000 upgrade of the changing rooms paid for by the council, and $100,000 towards a new electronic scoreboard which Otago Cricket and Otago Country Cricket would jointly fund.

The report says a new $56,000 sight screen was needed, which Otago Country Cricket were proposing to fund.

"Any increase to the provision for cricket will not be to the detriment of other users of the park," the report says.

Maintenance of Molyneux Park had cost the council about $142,000 a year for the past five years and up to $42,000 a year on the cricket pitches specifically.

Last season 80 cricket matches across all grades were played at the ground.

Otago Cricket chief executive Mike Coggan has not yet responded for comment.

 - Stuff

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