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ASB Showgrounds: New name, new facilities

Tuesday 21 February, 2006

ASB Showgrounds: New name, new facilities and new business for NZ

The Auckland icon formerly known as the Auckland Showgrounds today became the ASB Showgrounds - the first time it has partnered a naming rights sponsor in its 163 year history.

ASB's involvement will be a driving force for a massive transformation of the Showgrounds into a multi-dimensional facility, capable of attracting some of the world's leading shows, events, and exhibitions.

Auckland City council joins ASB in supporting the redevelopment of the Showgrounds. A cornerstone funder, Auckland City is contributing $5million to the upgrade of the facilities.

The total cost for the project is $26million. Stage one is already underway and includes construction of a new hub including food courts, function rooms, a wine bar, entry and registration areas, and extensions to two exhibition halls. The full transformation is expected to be complete by April 2007.

ASB Showgrounds Chief Executive Officer, Mark Frankham says the redevelopment is needed to enable the ASB Showgrounds to retain its position as New Zealand's premier exhibition centre, and to compete with other leading venues on the world stage.

"This is a prestigious day in the Showground's history. Having ASB as our first naming rights sponsor and partner means we can transform these facilities into a destination New Zealanders can be immensely proud of. Exhibition space will increase 50 percent to a total of 18,000m2 and existing facilities will be greatly modernised, with impressive functionality, flexibility and user-friendly features.

"With huge crowd-pullers such as the 2011 Rugby World Cup pending, New Zealand needs a world-class venue that can cater for all the associated events and the enormous volumes of people who will attend them. Not only will the new ASB Showgrounds facilities be able to manage these crowds, it will also attract new events such as major shows, conferences and concerts that previously would not have had New Zealand on their radar.

"From a naming rights perspective, it was important our partner was another institution with a similarly long history of supporting the Auckland community. ASB comes from the same vintage as the Showgrounds, we share a common founder in Sir John Logan Campbell, and like us, ASB is a strong supporter of local and business communities."

ASB Managing Director, Hugh Burrett says, "This 10 year commitment to the ASB Showgrounds is the most significant ASB has made with a landmark in our 159 year history. We share a vision with the Showgrounds and the Auckland City council to cement this venue as the first choice for the captains of industry both in New Zealand and internationally.

"The modernisation of the ASB Showgrounds with leading edge design and functionality reflects our own focus on technology and customer experience. Soon this will be illustrated by the multiple trade fairs that will be able to exhibit here simultaneously.

"The new facilities will deliver a premium experience for these key stakeholders, their customers and the wider public, and they can be tailored to each exhibitor's needs. ASB is committed to standing alongside the Showgrounds and make it a destination of which we can be even more proud."

The redevelopment will deliver significant economic benefits to Auckland and beyond, by increasing the number of local and international exhibitors and visitors attending events at the ASB Showgrounds.

By 2010, the new ASB Showgrounds is expected to contribute $110million per annum to the Auckland region, almost double the contribution from existing facilities.

Auckland City Mayor, Dick Hubbard says, "The ASB Showgrounds are a significant and popular asset for Auckland, drawing 1.2 million people every year.

"We're putting our money where our mouth is and financially assisting with an upgrade which will provide considerable economic benefits to the city.

"Supporting the ASB Showgrounds shows we're becoming an event friendly city. Encouraging the development of world-class venues and outdoor spaces allows us to host international events which demonstrate Auckland's potential to a global audience."

Support for the project also comes from other parties, including DMG - Australasia's largest trade show organisers, the Auckland Regional Council, the Employers and Manufacturing Association, Chamber of Commerce, Regional Councils and numerous ethnic and community users.

The redevelopment will be completed in two main stages to ensure existing business continues uninterrupted during the construction period.

ENDS


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