October 19, 2000

Vital meeting on Tuesday for sports development

Northern Districts Cricket is waiting for a Hamilton City Council meeting on Tuesday to find out whether a revamp of WestpacTrust Park can get started promptly.

A significant redevelopment of both the city's international cricket ground and Rugby Park is dependent on agreement being reached over the funding and naming rights issues that have developed.

Northern Districts Cricket Association chief executive John Turkington said he is concerned with the attitude the Council has taken in an issue where the sporting parties to the agreement thought they had met all the criteria wanted by the Council.

"The goalposts have been changed and the conditions on the criteria are no longer acceptable to the Council.

"We need to start our development now. We have a One-Day International on February 8 while at Rugby Park they know they won't be able to host any Super 12 rugby games but they want to be ready for the next NPC.

"We complied with all the requirements but now things have changed," he said.

The problem is that Trust Waikato has agreed to provide $7.5 million for the redevelopment, which will cost $30 million.

However, it will provide another $1.5 million if the redeveloped Rugby Park is called Trust Waikato Stadium.

The problem is that two other big funders, the Hamilton City Council and Wel Energy Trust want the stadium called Waikato Stadium.