Stand names come into focus
@devlincolle: The new Stadium Southland has an official completion date.
General manger Nigel Skelt said yesterday the official signover date was January 30.
The building would be commissioned from January 6, when stadium staff returned to work after Christmas.
This was the date the stadium building would be complete, he said. "This is exciting for our staff who have been without a home for 39 months."
He had sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key asking him to officially open the stadium in mid-February, but is still waiting to hear back.
Meanwhile, the Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust has discussed naming a stand in the stadium after its chairman, Acton Smith, who has been instrumental in its development.
Trust deputy chairman Alan Dennis said it was raised at a trust meeting but no decision was made. "Acton was adverse to the idea and adamant it would not be named after him," he said.
The board only met quarterly and if anything was likely to happen it would be announced at the official opening, he said.
Mr Smith confirmed he had told the board "no". "I have said no, that is not my style, I would like to stay in the background," he said.
He believed Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt had earned his name on a stand after his long contribution to the city so far and others should be given the opportunity before him.
"I would like to keep the gender balance and have a stand named after a lady because women are 50 per cent users of the stadium."
Netball Southland had played a pivotal part in driving the original stadium and should be recognised for its long involvement, he said.
He had suggested Robyn Broughton, now Central Pulse netball coach in Wellington.
Any decision about naming a stand was not just an executive one and would involve long talks with the board.
In relation to funds for the stadium, Mr Smith said stadium bosses had drafted a formal response to the insurance company, which was in the hands of its solicitor. It would be ready to send after Christmas.
- The Southland Times
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