$4m cricket centre proposed for city
A $4 million cricket hub could be built beside Hamilton’s Seddon Park - and not with ratepayer money.
Northern Districts Cricket wants the centre as a home and training base for its players, and says it can find the funds.
The community cricket centre would be on the Bryce St side and have indoor training lanes and office space.
Northern Districts would also double the number of outdoor grass wickets and revamp the entrance to Seddon Park’s Gate D.
Hamilton City councillors like the idea - especially as they’re not being asked for money - but on Thursday last week struggled with how they could formally express their support.
‘‘It allows us to be a 365 day sport rather than a summer sport,’’ Northern Districts chief executive Ben MacCormack said in last week’s presentation to council.
The centre would be used by first-class cricketers as well as younger players and community cricketers, he said.
Plans for the two-year project have already been developed with Fosters Construction Ltd and Chow:Hill Architects.
Council wouldn’t be asked to contribute to the build, though MacCormack hoped Northern Districts would get a favourable rate on their lease after spending on the area.
Northern Districts plans to fund construction through various means, including gaming trusts, and has partnerships which could bring construction costs down, he said.
Council’s approval would would help when approaching funders.
The project is a situation ‘‘where other people are paying the bill for what I believe would be pretty good city benefit overall,’’ council’s general manager of events Sean Murray said.
Councillors voted 9-1 to support the project, with Cr Leo Tooman in opposition. Crs Mark Bunting and James Casson were not present for the vote, and Cr Rob Pascoe was absent. The final proposal will come back to council for approval.
The project would also involve revamping the Gate D entrance to Seddon Park.