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Netball World Championships to remain at Waitakere

Netball World Championships to remain at Waitakere

The finals day of the New World Netball World Championships will remain at the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere.

The Netball World Championship Board today confirmed the Waitakere venue after considering a move to the larger Vector Arena for the Finals Day on 17 November.

The Board considered that the move was not in the best interests of the players nor the event as it posed too many logistical and operational risks during a world championships.

Staff have spent several weeks working through complex planning, consulting with partners, sponsors and television and negotiations with Vector Arena. They have also considered the significant additional costs involved in using the Vector Arena as opposed to Trusts Stadium.

“A full Vector Arena for the Finals Day was an inviting prospect as a showcase for our sport and this country, and it would have given more New Zealand fans the chance to experience a world championship netball final,” Board chairman Sara Lunam said.

“However the operational hurdles to move an entire event along with live international television production to a new venue overnight made it just too risky, with too many compromises.

“Vector Arena is a good venue for a single netball test match but doesn’t suit a world championship netball tournament.

“For instance the Finals Day involves four games and eight teams but there are only two change rooms and no suitable warm-up facilities. The only opportunity for teams to practice at the venue would be on the day of the semifinals or finals.

“This is a world championship sporting event and we felt that the players deserve the best operations and support facilities. Also with the time constraints around access to Vector, there are simply no guarantees that the event would be up and ready for that first game.”

The decision has been supported by the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA).

IFNA had complete confidence in the Board and management of the New World Netball World Championships to make the correct decision for the sport, said IFNA President, Mrs Molly Rhone.

“IFNA has venue standards which must be met in order to host a championship. IFNA had conducted a review during the New Zealand-Australia test last month and had raised some concerns. These could not be fully addressed to allow eight teams to play at Vector on the finals day.”

Netball World Championship organisers said that sales of tickets for round robin play and the opening ceremony were strong. Approximately 8000 tickets are still available overall for round robin games, the opening ceremony and opening game on 10 November between New Zealand and Malawi and limited three-day finals packages.

ENDS

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