Record attendance at park

Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings had a record 150,000 people through its gates during the 2011/12 financial year.

The park's chief executive Jock Mackintosh said he was pleased to host the large number of people in a short space of time.

"It's just over 19 months since Deputy Prime Minister Bill English opened the park's grandstand, so 2011/21 is our first year as a fully operating park."

Slightly more than half the people using the park were netballers playing at the park's netball centre during the winter and twilight summer competitions throughout the year.

The increase in numbers had produced "some challenges" for the park as it was "jam packed" on Saturdays, especially during the winter netball season, Mr Mackintosh said.

"We're talking to Hastings Netball about playing some of the games mid-week to alleviate this congestion," Mr Mackintosh said.

Other sports which hosted significant numbers of people included touch (19,000) and athletics (17,000).

Event hosting was emerging as an important part of the park's operations and the best example was on Waitangi Day, when Ngati Kahungunu organised an event attracting 10,000 people.

There will be further development at the 30ha park site in the next year, which will include an artificial hockey turf and lights, as well as changing rooms for sports fields. There would also be practice areas and shelter for the netball courts and a 2.3km limestone running and cycle track.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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