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Ironman to showcase city's landmarks

20 NOV 11 20°C TRIATHLON by Urban+Explorer, on Flickr​

A major Ironman event with an almost $100,000 prize pool will be hosted in Auckland next year and will showcase the best the city has to offer. Ironman 70.3 will be held in January and will be the official Asia Pacific Championships and provide athletes with an additional opportunity to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Las Vegas. The event, which will take in iconic Auckland landscapes with a swim in the Viaduct Harbour, a bike course that includes the Harbour Bridge and a run along the waterfront, is expected to attract 1200 athletes. Over $94,000 in prizes are up for grabs. "New Zealand and Auckland hold a special place in the history of Ironman and the sport of triathlon," Andrew Messick, CEO of World Triathlon Corporation said.

"When the Ironman team began to expand the event series globally, Auckland was chosen as the first international venue. "Over the years, New Zealand has embraced the sport of triathlon with an unmatched enthusiasm while producing incredible talent. It's fitting to bring a major championship to New Zealand and to the magnificent city of Auckland." Auckland was the first international race venue chosen when the Ironman brand began its global growth in the mid-80's. Ironman New Zealand was staged here for 14 years, based at Mission Bay and then St Heliers, before moving to Taupo in 1999. Today there are more than 30 Ironman and 60 Ironman 70.3 races worldwide.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) believes the event will boost city coffers and its' January 20 timing during Auckland's New Year programme was "well placed". "It's been nearly 30 years since Auckland hosted the inaugural Ironman event and we are delighted to be back on the international calendar, providing exclusive access to a world-class course," ATEED's Acting General Manager Destination, Jennah Wootten said. Ironman legend Cameron Brown believes the new event will be a major boost for the sport and the city. "Much of my passion for the sport came from those days as a kid watching Ironman from along the Auckland waterfront," Brown, 10-time Ironman New Zealand Champion said.

"To now have the opportunity to race in an Ironman 70.3 event in my home town, and a major championship at that, is going to be very special. I can only hope a whole new generation of young kiwis get the same buzz from Ironman 70.3 Auckland and take up the sport. " The event will be based at the Viaduct Events Centre. The course comprises a 1.9km one-lap swim in the Viaduct Harbour, a 90km bike course over the Harbour Bridge followed by a two-lap city section to St Heliers, and a 21.1km two-lap run along the Auckland waterfront. The finish line will be in the heart of Wynyard Quarter with the stunning city skyline as a backdrop.
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Auckland to host World Masters Games 2017​

What is the World Masters Games?
The World Masters Games is the world’s largest multi-sport event and one of the great international sports events providing people of all abilities not only with reasons to play organised sport in later life but also with opportunities to travel the globe, experience different cultures and make new friends. Through this event, the International Masters Games Association (IMGA) advances the “sport for all” philosophy of the Olympic Charter by promoting lifelong competition, friendship and understanding between sportspeople, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or sport status.

What other cities have hosted the World Masters Games?
The World Masters Games take place every four years. They were first staged in Toronto, Canada in 1985 and have since been hosted in Aalborg, Aarhus and Herning (1989), Brisbane (1994), Portland, Oregon (1998), Melbourne (2002), Edmonton (2005) and Sydney (2009). Torino, Italy will host the Games in 2013.The 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney involved 28 sports and more than 28,600 competitors from 95 countries. This is more than twice the number of competitors that took part in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

How much will it cost to host the World Masters Games and who will fund this?
The cost to host the Games in Auckland will be $33.6 million. Auckland Council and Central Government have approved $11 million each and the remaining $11.6 million will come from revenues and sponsorship. An economic impact assessment of the Games estimates the return on this investment will be an inflow of cash into Auckland of approximately $46 million and a GDP impact of around $37 million. This research estimates the attendance of 35,880 people, including 7740 domestic visitors and 17,060 international visitors with the balance coming from within Auckland. This will generate an estimated 250,810 visitor nights in Auckland.

How did Auckland win the rights to host the World Masters Games in 2017?
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) put together a bid for the Games which was delivered to the International Masters Games Association (IMGA) earlier this year. The IMGA evaluates all bids based on specific criteria.

What criteria did Auckland have to meet?
The technical requirements for a World Masters Games host city are:
• 5,000 volunteers (includes sports officials)
• Sufficient standard of sports facilities at time of bidding and an assurance that no new venues are to be constructed in order to meet World Masters Games requirements
• Accommodation infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of a minimum of 23,000 participants and supporters
• Transport infrastructure capable of moving up to 35,000 people on a daily basis
• Ability to fly 20,000 people in and out of the city within a short space of time.

What other cities bid to host World Masters Games 2017?
There were sixteen international cities who were candidates at the beginning of the process. It is IMGA policy not to reveal who the other cities were. Auckland was successful with negotiations to become the host city.

What infrastructure will need to be built for the Games?
Unlike an event such as the Commonwealth Games, this event does not require hefty investment in new sporting infrastructure. In fact part of the IMGA’s rules for hosting the Games includes restrictions around expenditure on infrastructure upgrades. This is the Association’s approach to controlling the size of the event and ensuring that it does not reach a scale where it is too expensive for cities to host. Auckland’s bid is based on existing infrastructure.

What are the age restrictions for World Masters Games athletes?
The international federation of each sport in the Games impose its own minimum age requirement. The minimum age requirement ranges between 25 and 35 years depending on the sport.

Who will manage the delivery of the World Masters Games in Auckland?
ATEED is responsible for the delivery of the event. ATEED has been charged with developing the appropriate governance and delivery structure.

What sports will be in the 2017 World Masters Games?
The event will be held over 10 days. There are 15 mandatory sports: archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, canoeing / kayaking, cycling, football, hockey, orienteering, rowing, shooting, softball, squash, table tennis, weightlifting. Optional sports likely for Auckland in 2017 are cricket 20/20, golf, lawn bowls, netball, rugby, sailing, surfing, swimming / diving, ocean swimming, tennis, touch rugby, triathlon, volleyball / beach volleyball, marathon, half marathon.

What Auckland venues will be used for the Games?
The map, indicates a wide range of potential venues which would see the Games spread around the Auckland region. Please note this is indicative only and details have yet to be confirmed.


* AFC (Asia) = 4 TEAMS TBD
* CAF (Africa) = 4 TEAMS TBD
* CONCACAF (North America, Central America & Caribbean) = 4 TEAMS TBD
* CONMEBOL (South America) = 4 TEAMS TBD
* UEFA (Europe) = 6 TEAMS TBD​

* 52 matches
* Six groups of four teams each
* The best two teams from each group plus the top four third-place finishers go into the Round of 16
* Then knockout, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, plus a playoff for 3rd/4th
* Time of the NZ event still be to finalised - either June/July or November​

* 23 teams of 23 players plus approximately 12 officials in each visiting squad - 800 visitors
* About 180 FIFA staff will attend from across the world
* Around 95 NZ employees will work for the Local Organising Commitee, most fulltime
* Approximately 2,000 volunteers
* Initial budget of 630,000 spectators across 52 matches (average of 12,150 per match)​

* Host cities across New Zealand will be selected: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Invercargill, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Wellington and Whangarei
* Six-eight venues possible
* Upgrading of stadia for the 2011 Rugby World Cup provides numerous options and infrastructure
* International television exposure​

* 2015 tournament will be broadcast to over 200 countries worldwide, all matches live
* An international television audience of 450 million can be estimated (based on audiences for the U-20 2007 Canada and 2009 Egypt World Cups)
* Over 250 international media will attend​

* Many opportunities for New Zealand to be profiled
* Host Cities feature in television vignettes showing their attractions and these are provided to international television outlets
* An Official Draw will be held 4-6 months prior to the event - major media occasion, relayed to glabal television audience
* Opening and Closing Ceremonies - celebration of New Zealand's culture and its South Pacific setting - broadcast internationally
* New Zealand will be promoted as a credible footballing nation: "with a very low security risk, good infrastructure, and a great place to visit"​

NZ Football's objectives for the FIFA U-20 2015 World Cup include:
* Leveraging growth and interest in football
* Involving thousands of New Zealanders in a top-level competiton
* Attracting 10,000-15,000 internation visitators
* Achieving significant economic impact nationally and regionally
* Delivering legacy opportunities and leverage for New Zealand
* Generating significant ticket sales​
Plus another event

Australia and New Zealand host the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup​
I'm totally agree. 2015, is a very interesting year, both for the objectives of the U20 World Cup and the ICC :) Other best events are welcome :lol:
^^ Nice, I like how they combined the NZ and OZ motifs / colours :cheers:
I had posted a news + photo of the uniform of NZ here :)
MOA+I Proposes Gorgeous Waterfront Test Cricket Ground in Auckland​

The Ministry of Architecture + Interiors has just released images of their plan to build a new international test cricket ground in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbor. The sweeping structure that stretches out over the water like a giant sail will be a multi-purpose haven for visitors and players alike. It will not only house an immaculate playing field, locker rooms, vendors, and event spaces, but will also double as an outdoor concert and festival venue between professional games and during the off season.

The seaside arena plans are part of an urban renewal project years in the making. Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, along the Waitemata Harbor, has long been home to a number of liquid chemical plant storage facilities, aptly named the “Tank Farm.” The industrial wasteland known for polluting the harbor has just recently been reclaimed and plans to transform the space to multi-use residential and commercial centers are already underway. The new test cricket ground would sit at the quarter’s edge, overlooking the harbor which will proudly display a cleaner, brighter, landscape.

The project if it were built by another part may be ok, in my opinion, if you allow me to say ... I leave the wynyard quarter for best and symbolic building and green space :) rather than just a cricket stadium :eek:hno:
Article from NZ Herald on Proposed Cricket Stadium

First there was Victoria Park, now backers desperate to see test cricket return to Auckland at a suitable venue have come up with another option - the end of the Tank Farm. Former test cricketer Greg Loveridge and Robt Jones Holdings colleague David Rankin have a vision to turn the land at the end of the Tank Farm into a world-class oval that would also be capable of hosting concerts and small festivals. They have high-profile backing, too, with Martin Crowe saying he hadn't felt this excited about the prospects for cricket for a long time. "Auckland clearly needs a new test ground," Rankin said. "It's a problem that needs to be solved. "The fact the council is even proposing a new ground is a clear illustration the city needs a ground." But Rankin and Loveridge believe a move to Albany, as proposed in a discussion document released last month by Regional Facilities Auckland, would be a disaster. "The ground needs to be close to the CBD, it needs to be where your population base is," Rankin said.

Crowe, arguably New Zealand's greatest batsman, said the waterfront near the city was the perfect location. He met up with Rankin and Loveridge, a one-test cricketer in the 1990s, and liked what he saw. "It has real merit," he said. "With modern technology, you can have it as a public space and transform it into a test ground so quickly. But the key is the ability for people to walk down from work at lunchtime and after work. It would be magical." Last month, television personality Jeremy Wells went public with his plan to transform the city end of Victoria Park into an oval capable of hosting test cricket, which quickly gathered high-powered support. Wells saw the advantages being its proximity to the CBD, which would attract lunchtime and after-work crowds; its location near the new Wynyard Quarter entertainment and dining precinct; the opportunity to showcase Auckland in a positive light to potential tourists for five to 10 days a year and the relatively low cost of player facilities and grass banks. The plan met with overwhelming public support in an online poll and feedback to this newspaper.

Rankin says the motivations for putting an oval on the Tank Farm mirrored the Victoria Park project, but it had two significant advantages: it would cause no disruption to club cricket and there were already plans to turn the Tank Farm into a park. "The initial plan was for a simple embankment only, which should keep the cost down to that comparable with the planned headland park," Rankin said. "With further funds we would ultimately envisage a small stand which also doubles as a sound stage. This could be used for concerts, which further positions the ground as an asset for all of the city, not just for cricket lovers. "Apart from 10 days of test cricket a year, the public would have full access to the park. "In reality, it would immediately be one of the great cricket grounds of the world. It would be surrounded by water on three sides, with the cityscape as a background. "It would offer a terrific advertisement for the city and country to viewers in the likes of the UK, Australia, South Africa and India."

The proposed headland park is mooted for beyond 2020 but Rankin hopes the opportunity to create a sports and city legacy might push the timing forward. Wells said he had seen the plans and thought they looked exciting. "Obviously I think Victoria Park is more viable, particularly in the short term, but it is great that we are getting people with ideas committed to getting test cricket back to Auckland and into the CBD," Wells said. Auckland last hosted a test in 2006, though Eden Park with its postage-stamp straight boundaries has controversially been allocated a test between New Zealand and England next season. Auckland Cricket is tied to Eden Park through legislation and has made it clear it will not move.
I support the entire sentence :lol:
I love the architecture but I would rather see a fantastic iconic building there that can be used 365 days a year by everybody and not just sports fans.
Team New Zealand launch new yacht

Team New Zealand brought a national feel to their America's Cup campaign by naming their giant new catamaran 'New Zealand' at a christening ceremony in Auckland. A large crowd gathered in the Viaduct Basin for the occasion and dignitaries included Prime Minster John Key. The government has provided $34m in funding as TNZ look to regain the cup in San Francisco next year. The 72-foot catamaran was launched with skipper Dean Barker's wife Mandy splashing it with champagne. Simultaneously, fireworks lit the sky as 18 months of work by the design and build teams were revealed for all to see.

TNZ managing director Grant Dalton said the night could not have happened with the support of the government and sponsors who backed the team with such enthusiasm. "New Zealanders should be proud that their team attracts the support of these major international companies," Dalton said. "The same can be said for the international designers, engineers and analysts who augmented our design team. "We are proud of what we have achieved so far, working in a tin shed in Auckland. "We carry the New Zealand flag sponsors' brands proudly and pledge that the mission of every member of this team is to bring the America's Cup back to New Zealand." TNZ will begin testing the catamaran in Auckland this week. They are only allowed 30 days on the water before January 31 under cup rules.
No place for Auckland on Olympic 'map' – economist​
A leading economist expects the Olympics will reach a "tipping point" before the 2020 Games because the event spending model cannot be sustained. Massey University's Dr Sam Richardson told NBR ONLINE a major shift in the approach to funding the event is needed because the cost to host cities is just too great. And he is not so sure Auckland has the infrastructure to handle the Olympics, as was suggested last year. Dr Richardson suggests greater use of private investment would reduce the burden on taxpayers and lead to more efficiently-run event. When London won its bid to host this year's Games in 2005 it was meant to cost about $NZ4.6 billion.

In February this year, the UK Parliament's public accounts select committee warned "the costs to the public purse of delivering the Games" were already heading for about $NZ21 billion. Every host city wants to claim the "best Olympics ever", but at some point there has to be a cap on the amount of money spent, he says. "Everyone who's sensible about it is asking, 'When will the madness finish?'" Oxford University researchers are projecting these games will be the most costly so far. They say comparing the totals of all Olympic Games over the past 50 years, London will rank alongside Beijing, Barcelona and Montreal as the most "expensive in history".

'Politically acceptable' costs
Researcher Allison Stewart says: "The figures that are in the public domain are unlikely to be the full final cost of the Games, but represent 'politically acceptable' costs." A casual observer would be forgiven for wondering why, when it is clear the initial budgets will probably be blown several times over, cities are so keen to put their hands up to host the Olympics? University of Alberta economics professor Brad R. Humphreys crunched the numbers in 2008 and found there are few economic benefits in terms of GDP growth. He examined the Seoul, Montreal, Athens, Sydney and Barcelona Games, finding in each case GDP growth dipped significantly the year after. Prof Humphreys also said the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games both had initial projected costs of $US1.6 billion. They ended up costing $US16 billion and $US40 billion respectively. Montreal, which hosted the 1976 event, only just paid off its Olympic debt in 2006. Dr Richardson says that despite this, cities still want to host the games because it puts them "on the map". "It's almost like in America where if you have a baseball or football team you are a 'major league city'. "Many world cities would see hosting an Olympics as 'we're major league now'."

He says many host cities, such as Athens and Beijing, built tremendous new facilities for the Games but they now many are all but abandoned. To explore how this could be changed, and how the Games could become an economically sustainable event, it is useful to go back to the last two American cities to host them. The Los Angeles 1984 Olympics is hailed as one of the great success stories of the modern Games, having achieved a surplus of more than $US200 million. Rather than make taxpayers bear the burden of the cost, the organisers raised $US150 million in sponsorships and built few new venues. In Atlanta in 1996 new facilities were built but they were well-utilised afterwards. For example, the dormitories used for the Olympic Village became student housing for Georgia State University, and the newly-built Centennial Olympic Stadium was converted into Turner Field and has been the home of the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team since 1997.

Dr Richardson says this is the type of thinking that needs to become commonplace for cities hosting Olympic Games. "There must be more private involvement. "You don't see the private involvement in things like facilities, but if it's a sound business case then there's no reason why private business couldn't run a successful Olympic Games. "You could argue the scope of the Games is much larger than it was in 1984, but if it makes good economic sense, you have to look at what extent the private sector should be involved."

Don't do proper cost-benefit analyses
Dr Richardson says part of the reason Olympic budgets almost always balloon is that host cities have historically failed to conduct proper cost-benefit analyses. Normally all that is done beforehand is an economic impact analysis, which estimates the level of economic activity associated with the event and its impact on the economy. "While I don't have a problem with those, I don't think it actually answers the question: 'Is this a good investment?'" He says a cost-benefit analysis, which calculates and compares the financial basis for hosting the Games is better at determining the virtue of the investment. If this was done, cities would see they need to peg back their spending, and the Games would be run more modestly and efficiently. This would be a major departure from the apparent desire for cities to host the "biggest and best" Games, but the change must come within the next two Olympic Games, he says.

So if the Olympics became more cost-effective, could smaller cities such as Auckland ever hope to become a host city? International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge thought so when he was in Auckland during the Rugby World Cup last year. He said that the time: "It is a possibility. Finland organised the Olympic Games with a population of 5 million. Norway has hosted a Winter Olympics Games ... with the same population as New Zealand." However, they haven't gone to a country of New Zealand's size since Helsinki in 1952. Dr Richardson says to examine whether Auckland could feasibly host an Olympics, you only have to look at what happened after the city hosted the 1990 Commonwealth Games. "There are only two or three facilities which were built or upgraded that are still in use. "You have Mt Smart stadium, which is coming under all sorts of questions about what they're going to do with it in the future."

What bout NBR's 'Greek Solution'?
An NBR ONLINE opinion piece recently suggested a solution to the "expensive Olympics" problem: Make Greece a centre for world sports. It would host all the world's major sporting events, not only saving other countries the extraordinary cost of running events, but also rejuvenating the Greek economy.

Dr Richardson was asked to analyse the concept and explain whether or not it would work. "An interesting piece, but ultimately a flawed concept. One reason is because the arguments outside of those economic and financial also matter to those who decide whether or not to host the Games. "I'd have my doubts as to whether a Greece-based 'world stadium' would actually 'regenerate' Greece. "Hosting major events and building facilities hasn't worked for many cities due to competition between cities that drive the costs of these things up. "While reduced competition might appear on the surface to lower costs, the actual costs may well even be higher (think of Greece as a monopoly on event hosting – they can charge whatever hosting fee they like being the only host). "Their incentive is to charge a high fee – it is their wellbeing at stake under such a plan. "If the intention was to lower the fee to make the event hosted in Greece less costly, what incentive does Greece have to keep their facilities as state of the art? "They may come under pressure to constantly upgrade/rebuild as conditions of hosting events, which may be even more costly.

"If it did turn out to be profitable, we'll see a return to what we are seeing now. "It is like any business in which profits are made – there will be attempts to appropriate that profit from other cities/countries promising lower costs/fees (or higher revenue guarantees) to international bodies while offering more lavish facilities at greater costs to themselves. "It is a vicious cycle, and an incredibly perplexing one! "Ultimately, the key to sanity lies with the international body that gains the most from these events – bodies like the IOC, FIFA, IRB, etc. "These are the bodies that retain much of the revenues accruing to the event. "In the case of the IRB and the RWC, the only thing the host country gets is ticket sales to offset the costs of hosting the tournament. "I understand the IOC does share some of the cost of the event, which is sensible. Whether it is enough is another debate. "The international bodies that sanction and award these events need to champion fiscal responsibility as part of the conditions of the event. "Cities and countries also really need to ask the hard questions of themselves – what do we really stand to gain by hosting these events?"
Albany gets $17.8m swimming centre​
After 20 years of waiting, Albany will finally get a community swimming centre - with preliminary work on the site of the Northern Recreation Centre underway. The Auckland Council has set aside $17.8 million over the next three years for the project. The Upper Harbour Local Board has agreed to invest $571,000 over the next year for preliminary work and a geotechnical survey is underway at the proposed site at North Harbour Stadium. Upper Harbour Local Board chairwoman Margaret Miles said the community had been ''asking for a swimming centre in the Albany area for 20 years, and the local board is relieved that this project will finally proceed". "We have advocated for this project since the beginning of our term as Upper Harbour Local Board members, and we are very pleased that funding has been included in the Long-term Plan to make it happen." Mayor Len Brown said the centre would become a ''shining example of what can be achieved in the new Auckland and I am thrilled for the residents of the Upper Harbour and surrounding areas who will get so much use from the facility." He also noted that the pool, when open, will be free for those aged 16 and under- under a proposal recently adopted by the council.
Auckland & Christchurch to host All Whites​
Auckland and Christchurch will host the All Whites' first two home matches of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. The matches, part of the third stage of Oceania qualifying, will be played against the Solomon Islands at North Harbour Stadium on September 11 and against Tahiti at Christchurch's AMI Stadium on October 16. The latter match will be the first the All Whites have played in the South Island since a 1-0 win over Malaysia at QEII Park in 2006. The venue for New Zealand's third home qualifier, on March 22, 2013, is yet to be decided.

New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh was pleased to be able to acknowledge the strong influence of Canterbury players in past and present All Whites sides. "It's exciting to be able to bring the national team back to Christchurch given what the region has given to the All Whites," McKavanagh said in a statement. New Zealand's first match in the Oceania qualifying campaign is away to New Caledonia in Noumea on September 7. The winners of the qualifying series progress to a home and away playoff against the fourth-placed qualifiers from the North and Central America region in November 2013 for a place at the World Cup finals in Brazil a year later.
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