Mayor wants new stand at Trafalgar Park

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A new multi-million dollar grandstand at Trafalgar Park should be built to help attract more top events to the city, says Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio.

Plans for a new 2000-5000 seat stand replacing the old 1000-seat stand that runs along Trafalgar St have been loosely drawn up as part of discussions around a Rutherford Park upgrade. But Aldo says it’s time it was put on the council table and it would turn Trafalgar Park into a top quality venue with the ability to host international concerts and more sporting events.

Around $3.8 million was spent on an upgrade of the park ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and Aldo says the time is right for another upgrade ahead of the FIFA under 20 world cup in 2015.

“This would leave a legacy for the city and would see Trafalgar Park being a premier venue in the South Island. We already have NPC rugby played here and national league football in the summer, but it would be great to attract more events, including music and sports.”

A covered stand running the length of the park would cost between $6 million and $10 million says Aldo, but funding could come from freeing up land for apartment and town houses on the excess land between the back of the stand and Trafalgar St, as well as leasing retail and corporate box facilities facing the field.

“My view is that it could be funded primarily by the private sector so ratepayers don’t have the cost and debt burden. Land is very valuable down there and the council could use that to our advantage.”

He believes if the upgrade was to go ahead Nelson could host the Wellington Phoenix football team, the Warriors rugby league team and national rugby teams like the Maori All Blacks. “This part of our city including the river could quickly become an active hub. The land is expensive so it’s important it’s utilised well and the council is maximising the use and the revenue from it.”

In plans drawn up by council staff, shared clubrooms could go under the main stand, including city rugby clubs and FC Nelson football club. Aldo says the development could be hugely exciting for the city and it would create a real hub of activities at the park.