Friday 24 September 2010

Game On 2012 – Stadium Southland has unveiled the new catch-cry as we take the first steps towards rebuilding the complex possibly within the next 18 months.

And, based on recent performances, it’s pretty obvious we’ll employ Stags hooker Jason Rutledge to rebuild our mighty venue – he would have held the bugger up! All jokes aside, it’s my dream to open a new state-of-the-art venue at our Surrey Park site on March 30, 2012. It’s a very nostalgic date as it would coincide exactly with the opening of the first stadium 12 years earlier.

I believe that would be a fitting tribute to past successes but also mark the start of many more triumphs for Southland sport. We are very passionate about Game On 2012 and I hope you all share our vision because team-work will play an integral role.

The Stag’s hard-fought 9-6 victory over Auckland last night epitomised what can be achieved by team-work – metaphorically-speaking, it was the ray of sunshine desperately needed after a gloomy week in this rural heartland.

Watching crowds flocking to the Dunkley’s Great New Zealand Craft Show at Stadium Southland’s ILT Velodrome today was fantastic. It’s a huge buzz for us to be back in event mode already. The journey has begun, this is the first step and we will continue to gain momentum from this point on.

The task of transforming Stadium Southland’s ILT Velodrome into a suitable home for the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel and the Southland Sharks basketball franchises is progressing favourably.

We want to create something very unique worldwide – where else on the globe will there be a facility with such flexibility and diversity than what we want to create here? While it has been forced upon us by Mother Nature, it is an exciting opportunity nonetheless to show what a resilient and resourceful bunch us Southlanders are.

The preferred option is to purchase a portable sprung wooden floor, which for training sessions and regular use, would be placed over one of the existing four community courts, but on game day we could spin it 90 degrees, increase the run-off area and configure additional seating around it to bring capacity up to around 2700. Our temporary stand, which is currently being utilised at Rugby Park, can be configured into different components.

However, there are still several logistical issues to work through before the concept gets the green light and a key objective for us will be to ensure it can be put down and pulled up within a minimum amount of time.

Work continues on clearing the site and, although the stormy weather continues to hamper progress, we are still aiming for the 3-4 week timeline.

Nigel Skelt
General Manager
Stadium Southland
Game On 2012 

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