Wellington gearing up to hit one out of the park

16 February 2015

As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 opening ceremony takes centre stage today, Wellington is ready to play host to some of the world’s best cricketers.

Friday’s match between New Zealand and England has been one of the fastest selling fixtures across the tournament, with eager fans around New Zealand and oversees having already snapped up all available tickets.

“When it comes to host cities, Wellington is the all-rounder on the tournament team,” says Wellington’s Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown. “The city will be a hive of activity during the ICC Cricket World Cup, with free concerts and outdoor films, stunning street performances, and a Village Green fan hub in the heart of the city, complete with cricket pitch and pavilion.”

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester says the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is projected to return significant economic impact.

“The estimated additional direct expenditure of the four matches allocated to Wellington, including two matches featuring England, at least one match featuring the Black Caps and a quarterfinal is $26 million,” says Cr Lester.

Come and give the England Cricket Team a warm Wellington welcome at Te Wharewaka on the Waterfront next Tuesday (17 February), 6-7.30pm. Get up close to the visitors as they experience a traditional Māori welcome, known as a pōwhiri. The team will then be available for public signings at 7pm.

The Village Green at Civic Square opens next Wednesday (18 February) and runs throughout the tournament, with outdoor films, backyard cricket, and cultural performances in the lead up to each of the games. On selected days ahead of each match there will be performances, face painting, a photo booth and games on the Village Green turf.

Not far from The Village Green at Frank Kitts Park, The Waterfront Double-Header twilight concerts will be taking place 18-19 of February featuring some iconic Wellington musicians including Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra and the award-winning Trinity Roots. There’ll also be a bustling food market onsite featuring a taste of Wellington cuisine for hungry locals and tourists.

Back at the Village Green, on the Saturday nights of 21 and 28 of February and 11 and 20 of March, Cadbury Films by Starlight will be playing a selection of free evening films from dusk, including New Zealand classic Goodbye Pork Pie, and Fire in Babylon - a documentary about the record-breaking West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and 1980s.

Keep an eye out for bands, musicians and cultural performances on the city streets in the days leading up to each match and head down to Wellington Harbour for an impressive fireworks display on the evening of 20 March, celebrating the quarter final being played the following day.

“Based on the Black Caps’ recent form, we fully expect to welcome our home team back to Wellington for the quarter final,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.

The Wellington City Council run events during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will show visitors and locals alike that this city does live up to the reputation of being ‘the coolest little capital in the world.’

“Our goal is to make every game feel like a home game, no matter where you are from.”

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches: