No Petone stadium for the Wellington Phoenix

ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 15:47 11/06/2014
Gareth Morgan
PHOENIX CO-OWNER: Gareth Morgan wanted to create a better football atmosphere in the city.

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The Petone Arena plan is dead after Hutt City councillors voted unanimously to drop the proposal this afternoon.

Public feedback had been overwhelmingly negative on the idea, which would have seen a 12,000-seat stadium for the Wellington Phoenix football club built over half of the Petone Recreation Ground. 

Loss of green space, loss of playing fields for local sports clubs, and lack of parking were the most common complaints.

Public support was one of the key conditions to move forward with the idea, and that was obviously lacking, Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace said. The council received hundreds of annual plan submissions opposed to the arena, and hundreds also attended public meetings to discuss the concept.

Phoenix co-owner Gareth Morgan had proposed the arena as an alternative base to Westpac Stadium for the club. The smaller stadium would foster a better game-day atmosphere than the Cake Tin could offer, Morgan told councillors in April.

The Welnix collective would have paid $19 million to $23m for the arena, while ratepayers would have needed to pay $25m.

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