Funding Critical to Redevelopment of ASB Tennis Arena
Plans to weather-proof the ASB Tennis Arena are progressing well including the replacement of the Yock (western) Stand and a retractable roof over Centre Court. However, the project has a critical 6 months ahead to ensure the necessary funding is secured.
“The redevelopment is essential to secure the long-term future of the ASB Classic. Weather is not something we can control and it was incredibly frustrating for us and for fans that no players were able to get on court last night. If we can get this funding across the line, we won’t have to cancel matches because of rain again,” said Tennis Auckland CEO Brent Robinson.
The project will cost in total $18.5m with nearly 60 percent of the budget secured. Resource consent is in place with plans to complete design work and begin off-site construction this year, enabling on site works to begin immediately after next year’s ASB Classic.
“It is critical that we meet this timeline,” said Tennis Auckland CEO Brent Robinson. “We have to time the project very carefully to ensure we don’t impact the hugely successful ASB Classic each January, and for that to happen we need to confirm our funding in the coming months.”
Auckland Council and Foundation North are committed funding partners and Tennis Auckland will be announcing another major funding partnership in the coming weeks. Tennis Auckland still needs to raise $8 million towards the project and are targeting public, commercial and philanthropic partners to reach that funding target.
The ASB Classic has gone from strength to strength in recent years and replacing the ageing infrastructure is essential to ensure the event continues to grow. It is also important to ensuring the country continues to host the world’s best tennis players. Current requirements to host WTA and ATP tournaments include specifications around venue capacity and lighting that the ASB Tennis Arena does not currently meet. WTA International and ATP 250 tournaments require venue capacity of 3,500 people, of which the ASB Tennis Arena is 500 people short. Every year tournament organisers apply for exceptions to not comply with that rule, and so far the Tours have allowed the exceptions. A redevelopment of the Yock stand would ensure that would no longer be a problem.
“You can’t underestimate what these tournaments deliver the sport of Tennis and New Zealand in general. With superstars like Serena Williams the eyes of the sporting world really are on us. The ASB Classic is beamed into more than 100 million households globally for a fortnight, offering an unprecedented opportunity for us to showcase everything great about New Zealand,” said Robinson.
The ASB Classic provides a vital revenue stream for tennis in this country. Any money that is generated through the event is channelled straight back in to supporting tennis clubs, providing community facilities and delivering programs encouraging children to pick up racquets.
“We are a not-for-profit Regional Sports Organisation and are really proud of the support and resources we provide to the community. In the last two years, more than 20-thousand children have participated in introductory tennis programs delivered by Tennis Auckland. That’s what keeps us motivated,” said Robinson.
Tennis Auckland is motivated to bring tennis fans the best and most successful tournament we can, in order to provide the best support to regional sport and young athletes in New Zealand.