Vector Arena nominated for top concert venue award

By Joanna Hunkin

Vector Arena is in the running to be crowned International Arena of the Year, after it was nominated for the concert industry's Pollstar Awards yesterday.

The waterfront arena is one of seven nominees and the only contender from the southern hemisphere.

The Pollstar Awards are nominated by concert industry professionals and voted on by Pollstar magazine subscribers.

Vector Arena CEO Guy Ngata said the nomination was a huge honour for all those who worked on the arena project.

"To be nominated alongside such established venues, when we have only been open for eight months, is testament to the great acts and great shows which have performed here," he said.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles next February.

Vector will compete for the prize against Arena Monterrey in Mexico, Color Line Arena in Germany, Manchester Evening News Arena in England, 02 Arena in England, Odyssey Arena in Ireland and Wembley Arena in England.

Last year, the award was won by London's newly renovated Wembley Arena.

Since opening in March this year, more than six months behind schedule, Vector Arena faced a spate of criticism over the venue's poor sound quality and acoustics.

In April, the Red Hot Chili Peppers sound engineer Dave Rat contacted the Herald to express his concern over the venue's "unfinished" design, which resulted in poor audio quality.

In August this year, Mr Ngata said those issues had been resolved and complaints had died down.

Over the past eight months, Vector has played host to nearly 20 top international acts, including Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Bob Dylan, The Cure and more.

Next year's concert calendar is already starting to fill up with Vector Arena bookings by Maroon 5, Matchbox Twenty, Split Enz, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Rod Stewart, The Chemical Brothers and Carlos Santana.

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