Hamilton’s summer of events boosts city economy
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says this weekend’s HSBC New Zealand Rugby Sevens kicks off a spectacular series of summer events for the city.
Tournament celebrations ramp up tonight with a family-friendly public party in Garden Place to mark 21 years of the competition. The party between 4.30-6.30pm will involve international players including all 28 team captains, circus performances, food stalls and cultural performances. On-field action will be on Saturday and Sunday at FMG Stadium Waikato.
Southgate said major events like the HSBC New Zealand Rugby Sevens add huge vibrancy to the city but provide much more than “just a feel-good factor”.
“When the Sevens was held here for the first time in 2018, analysis showed more than $3.3 million extra cash was pumped into the city – and that’s huge,” Southgate said.
“There was a 47 per cent increase in spend in our CBD during the event compared to the same weekend the previous year. Those numbers make a big difference to retailers, moteliers, restauranteurs and other businesses so I’m delighted to see there are lots more summer events scheduled.”
As well as the HSBC New Zealand Sevens, thousands of car fans will converge on Claudelands in Hamilton on Saturday for the 4 & Rotary Nationals.
And the dust will barely have settled from that and the Sevens before Seddon Park hosts the Black Caps v India T20 match on 29 January, and the White Ferns v South Africa one-dayer the following day. The four teams are back in action again the following week with the Black Caps meeting India in a one-day match on 5 February and the White Ferns resuming battle with South Africa in a T20 on 6 February.
Hamilton’s FMG Stadium Waikato will also host a keenly-awaited Investec Super Rugby clash when the Gallagher Chiefs meet the reigning champions Crusaders on February 8 – the same day iconic New Zealand band Six60 plays at Mystery Creek.
From 10 February professional women players take part in a $US15,000 World Tennis Tour event at the Waikato Tennis Centre. Players from across the world will attend, chasing official WTA world ranking points.
On 19 February the annual Hamilton Gardens Arts festival launches its vibrant outdoor festival. Largely staged within the magical setting of Hamilton Gardens, plus around the city’s CBD, the festival is one of the region’s most popular annual events, drawing more and more people from outside of the region.
And amid all of this came the news that Hamilton has been selected as one of the host cities for the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 – including featuring a semi-final decider at Seddon Park.
“Whether you’re a sports fan, an arts fan or both – it’s pretty clear the place to be this summer will be Hamilton,” Southgate said.
“We have top-class facilities in our city and these are enabling us to attract more and more events which is good for all of us economically and culturally.”
“Last year Hamilton was the number one summer destination on Bookabach driven by city events and it would great to see that again.”
She acknowledged the thousands of workers and volunteers from organisations hosting and promoting the events, noting much of the work went on behind the scenes, well in advance of the events themselves.