Proposed sports hub for Logan Park still in ideas stage

Progress on a proposed sports hub for Logan Park is still in first gear, Sport Otago chief executive John Brimble says.

Tennis Otago wants to hold off on stage 2 of the long-awaited redevelopment at its courts at Logan Park and revisit what could be possible at the site.

Last month Tennis Otago chairman John Alexander told the Otago Daily Times there was an opportunity to create a multisport hub at the location.

The Otago Cricket Association wants to build a centre of cricket excellence on the land and Alexander said there was interest from Otago Hockey, Football South, the Harbour Rugby Club and Unipol in the concept of a sports hub.

Brimble said plans had not moved beyond the idea stage and there was a lot of work ahead before any way forward was clear.

"It is early days yet as to whether a sports hub proceeds on that site," he said.

"It is an option but at this stage it is just a concept."

Brimble said Sport Otago would need to work with a range of sports organisations to get a feel for their needs and scope out "possible support" .

"As we work through that they would need to take that to their respective boards and test the waters there as to whether there is a willingness to move towards something like that."

The arrival of Covid-19 and the widespread disruption it had brought down on the sporting community meant there was a sharper awareness of the benefits of working more closely together.

"If you had a sports hub where everyone was working out of the same base, you could have a shared services model. So one financial system that services all the sports, common IT, common computer system, sharing comms [communications] and marketing and all that.

"So there is an economy of scale that you gain."

"We are certainly championing the concept and we’ve been working with councils across Otago in terms of encouraging collaboration amongst codes to create sports hubs."

Brimble said there were groups working on proposals in Cromwell and Queenstown, and discussions were taking place in Wanaka as well.

But in terms of the suggested concept for Logan Park, it was now a matter of working with the individual codes "to see who is going to commit to it".

"Once we’ve got commitments we can really start pulling together a proposal that we can then sit down and talk to council with."

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