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Take a walk on the Wilde side

8 June 2005

Take a walk on the Wilde side

From today taking on a walk on the wild side will have new meaning for the thousands of people attending games and events at the Westpac Stadium.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast will officially open the Fran Wilde Walk, the elevated walkway leading up to the Stadium, at 5.30 tonight. The opening is being celebrated with the installation of two new signs along the concourse.

The illuminated signs stand 5.5 metres high and 1.8 metres wide and contain information on Fran Wilde, a timeline, the history of the stadium and directions. They also contain pictures of the various milestones along the way to the Stadium’s completion. The signs were designed by the Council’s urban design team working with Athfield Architects.

Mayor Prendergast said naming the elevated walkway into the Stadium the Fran Wilde Walk was a fitting tribute to the dedication, determination and commitment of Ms Wilde to ensure Wellington got a new stadium.

Fran Wilde was Mayor between 1992 and 1995 as well as chair of the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust. Work began on securing a site in 1993 and some major hurdles were traversed in getting to the final official opening by Governor-General at the time, Sir Michael Hardie-Boys on 3 January 2000.

“The stadium was a fantastic achievement by all those involved. This walk is a fitting tribute to a woman whose tenacity and vision led to the Westpac Stadium,” Mayor Prendergast says.

“Fran had the foresight and vision to build a multi-purpose stadium for Wellington. She worked extremely hard to ensure that her vision came to fruition and because of that we have this wonderful City asset which has hosted many fantastic sports teams, international stars and some spectacular events.

“The atmosphere at the stadium is second to none and Wellingtonians have shown their support for it by turning out in their masses for almost every event. The expression ‘build it and they will come’ has certainly rung true for the stadium. They have at times come from all around the world.

“The next big event at the Stadium is of course the British and Irish Lions and the infamous Barmy Army taking on the All Blacks. Bring it on,” Mayor Prendergast says.


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