Finding a home for football
A lack of artificial football turfs is causing disruptions to the region’s top football teams, as the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Football Federation continues to search for a site for its proposed Home of Football in Hamilton.
The absence of football turfs in the city and wider regions was raised numerous times during the city council’s 10-year plan discussions earlier this year.
Students from Rototuna High School told councillors they did not have a suitable location for futsal in the city, while Melville United representatives said due to poor drainage at Hamilton’s sports parks fixtures were having to be delayed as there was no allweather turf.
WAIBOP chief executive Karyn Walters said the lack of artificial playing surfaces in Hamilton has also been causing disruptions to the premier northern league fixtures due to bad weather and mid-week fixtures at night.
“We are in desperate need of artificial surfaces in our region. We are unable to play NRFL fixtures or league games midweek under lights during the season,” Ms Walters said.
“There is a high demand for additional leagues outside the current league structure, and with this increase in demand we would like to be able to offer more
We are in desperate need of artificial surfaces in our region. Karyn Walters
leagues that would encourage greater participation.”
The federation has been seeking a home for many years, and submitted a proposal to occupy the old bowling club site at Hinemoa Park, opposite FMG Stadium on Seddon Rd.
Once it has secured a location, the federation will begin to seek funding.
“We have a mix of funding options, there are multiple opportunities for funding, for these activities and for the capital required to build such a great community facility.
“One of the major drawcards for this location was its central nature, which allowed for greater visibility and stronger links to the CBD and also created a sports precinct with rugby, tennis, cricket, squash in this area.”
However, at the HCC community and services committee meeting on September 11, councillors gave their support to K’aute Pasifika to occupy the bowling facility site to construct a Pacifika and cultural hub.
Ms Walters said the location was perfect for the proposed football facility, but will now have to look elsewhere.
“The proposal for the bowls facility was developed to fit that facility, and we now need to find another location and adapt the plan to the new location,” Ms Walters said.
Councillor Geoff Taylor, on the day of the meeting, also agreed with that thought, saying he pictured the area as a sporting precinct.
It is not the first time WAIBOP has missed out on a site for its facility.
In 2015 WAIBOP approached council with a request to set aside reserve land at Mangaiti Park in Huntington to establish a regional football facility in Hamilton, however, after objections were raised from residents during public submissions, the council decided to not support the project.
A proposed home of football, this concept design prepared for the WAIBOP application to use Hinemoa Park included a full size artificial football pitch along with two smaller futsal courts.