The project is the latest in a long list of upgrades to Wellington City Council sportsfields, with another $2.7 million spent in the past year across eight fields and three pavilions.
Cr Eagle, also the City Council’s Recreation Portfolio Leader, says the opening of the new turf will be good news for the region’s players, because the original two turfs are operating at capacity.
The sport has had 35% growth in seven years and has more than 15,000 participants.
“The lights at the Hockey Stadium were often glowing long into the night. The new turf will allow players to train and play at more family-friendly times and give the sport room to expand.
“The other upgrades will allow Wellingtonians to play sport in the summer and winter with less disruption because of field closures and with better facilities at pavilions.”
The hockey stadium upgrade includes the new playing turf, LED floodlights, upgrades to the existing car park, new parking spaces, player shelters and changing rooms.
The LED lighting, a first for a Wellington sportsfield, is expected to provide significant cost savings in electricity and bulb replacements during the lifetime of the system.
The City Council contributed $2.1 million to the project, with an additional $1.1 million coming from Wellington Hockey and grants from the Lotteries Commission, New Zealand Community Trust and Lion Foundation.
Wellington Hockey chief executive Trafford Wilson says the expansion of the stadium will make a huge difference for those playing and watching the sport.
“The opening of the third turf is a huge milestone and allows hockey to cater to its existing player base and continue to grow,” he says.
“Having three fields will also allow the city to attract more high-profile hockey games to the region.”
The Council has spent about $2.7 million on upgrades to other sportsfields in the city.
- Wakefield Park, two fields: Drainage upgraded, cricket blocks removed and irrigation system installed, completed in April, $236,000
- Kelburn Park, two fields: Drainage upgrade completed in October 2016. Gravel banding completed in April, $282,000
- Hataitai Park, one field: New drainage system and irrigation installed, completed in January, $153,000
- Martin Luckie Park, two fields: Perimeter fences for the new pitches, completed in January, $86,000
- Terawhiti Park junior training surface: Development of a junior training artificial surface on the former bowling club lawns adjacent to Karori Park. Work in progress, $900,000, with $290,000 from Karori Football.
- Upgrades to pavilions: Improvements at Martin Luckie Park, Kelburn Park and Hataitai Park, $1 million.
Hockey turf opening and exhibition match
Saturday 17 June
12 noon: official event starts
12.15pm: facility declared open by Deputy Mayor
12.15pm: exhibition match, 30 minutes
Side A includes a mix of project sponsors/funders, WHA and WRHST reps and former/current Blacksticks, including Pete Miskimmin, Brent Miskimmin, Umesh Prag, Kyle Pontifex, Nin Roberts, Rachel Steinmetz, and Laurie Gallen. Side B includes a mix of Wellington Hockey 2016 (U13) boys’ and girls’ representatives.