Petone Arena to draw rugby fans

  • 17/02/2014

Wellington Phoenix co-owner Gareth Morgan has unveiled plans to build a boutique football stadium in the Hutt Valley.

The Petone Arena would replace Wellington Stadium as the home of the Phoenix, and Mr Morgan says rugby teams could also be tempted to make the move.

"The goal is to make the game-day experience sensational and that can only be achieved by being there," says Mr Morgan.

The Phoenix's current home Westpac Stadium is too big, so Mr Morgan's Welnix consortium has partnered with the Hutt City Community Facilities Trust to build the 12,000-seat Petone Arena.

If $48 million can be found to build it, the Phoenix will play regular season games there in two years, leaving Wellington Stadium without one of its main clients.

The Phoenix will still play major games at the stadium, but Mr Morgan says fans will call the Petone Arena home, and its atmosphere could attract Wellington rugby too.

"I think once the rugby people see the experience here, there will be a burning desire," he says.

Wellington Rugby Union told 3 News the arena idea is interesting, but it's under contract to play at the stadium.

The Community Facilities Trust will formally ask the Hutt City Council for $25 million of funding later this month.

The remaining $23 million will have to come from corporate sponsorship, community trusts and an unspecified amount from the Phoenix owners.

3 News

source: newshub archive