Ateed to review strategy after Nines exit
‘ once you’re on the map, the competition wakes up. ’ STEVE ARMITAGE
ONE of the biggest players on the New Zealand sporting landscape is having a rethink about what events to bring to this country.
Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed), are the arm of Auckland Council charged with helping to make the city a great place to live as well as attracting visitors from elsewhere.
When it comes to sport, they’ve become a significant factor in getting big events to New Zealand, involved in events ranging from the ASB Classic, NZ PGA championships, LPGA sanctioned Women’s Open (that featured Lydia Ko), Auckland Nines, Auckland Marathon, World Masters Games, Rugby League World Cup and the youth sailing world cham- pionships. Next year there will also be the Volvo Ocean Race stopover and the NRL double header when the Tigers take on the Storm, followed by the Warriors against the Cowboys.
But the Nines are gone and so too could be the women’s golf open and it coincides with Ateed contemplating what events it should look at in the future.
‘‘I’m very proud of what Ateed has achieved, working with NZ Major Events,’’ Steve Armitage, general manager, destinations at Ateed said.
‘‘We’ve attracted mega events into the city, but we’re seven years on with our initial development of our major events strategy.
‘‘We had great success in the early stage, because we were aggressive in getting into the market place, to put Auckland on the map.
‘‘The trouble is, once you’re on the map, the competition wakes up and the prices the other cities, particularly in Australia, are prepared to pay in relation to us means we’re up against it.
‘‘It’s a different world to what it was seven years ago, so we’re having to innovate and that was one of the reasons why we were so proud of the Nines, because it was a new concept and something we were able to put an Auckland stamp on, alongside Duco.
‘‘Those opportunities take a long time to come to fruition and we’re working on a few things behind the scenes.’’
Few would argue the that the Nines hadn’t done its dash by this year’s event and there was a feeling of inevitability that it wouldn’t be back again in 2018 as the Roosters defeated the Panthers 10-8 in the final at a half full Eden Park.
Armitage says he hopes there could be a couple of announcements in the next month on future sporting events they’re looking to bring to Auckland, but the big one coming up is the America’s Cup.
Teams are likely to be in New Zealand in late 2019 and the America’s Cup will begin in 2021.
It’s not yet decided on where it will be held, but Auckland is the natural home for the event in New Zealand.
‘‘Obviously the America’s Cup is focussing the mind at the moment and some key decisions are due in the next few weeks around location,’’ Armitage said.
‘‘We’re getting an indication from the governing body of Auckland around what appetite they have to invest in it, but also what the preferred location will be, so we can get some certainty around hosting the event.’’
As Ateed reviews its major events and visitor strategy, there’s likely to be a focus on quality, rather than quantity of events as Auckland’s resources are strained because of the increase in the city’s population and tourists.
‘‘Sport will always be a vital component of our strategy, but we’re always challenged by trying to find the balance,’’ Armitage said.