Bay Venues wants to build a $4.9m multi-purpose exhibition space at ASB Baypark to bring more events to Tauranga.

The proposal comes after the Tauranga City Council-controlled organisation hosted a record 2.1 million visitors in 2017/2018.

Its key venues, ASB Baypark and ASB Arena, hosted 28 major events, exceeding its target of 12.

Its 24 facilities, including community centres and halls, indoor sports facilities, as well as ASB Arena and Stadium, were used for more than 103,000 hours during the financial year.


Bay Venues chief executive officer Gary Dawson said the organisation had submitted a $4.9m funding request to the Tauranga City Council for a new multi-purpose exhibition space at ASB Baypark to accommodate the increasing demand.

"Every year we are growing," he said. "It reflects the demand for event space."

Dawson said the space would cater for things like exhibitions, trade shows and concerts.

The $4.9m includes $1m for planning and investigating the idea and $3.9m for construction, which they hope to start by 2020.

Dawson said a feasibility study carried out over the last year would be presented to the council in December.

Bay Venues annual report showed Bay Dreams and the Bryan Adams concert attracted more than 24,000 and 8000 visitors to Tauranga from across the country.

The World Junior Squash Championships attracted international exposure and 17,000 on-site visitors at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre.

The Aims Games brought more than 10,000 11 to 13-year-olds and their families to the city from more than 280 schools across the country, as well as international visitors from Australia, Tonga and the Cook Islands.


Dawson said hosting a variety of events had significant economic benefits.

"It is not just the people of Tauranga that come here to those events; it is people from other areas as well," he said.

The Jetsprints and speedway at ASB Baypark also brought high profile sportspeople and international groups to Tauranga, he said.

Dawson was confident the city could accommodate the number of visitors that the events generated.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said ASB Baypark was a good site for a new multi-purpose exhibition space.

"You have got plenty of parking space. It makes sense to have it in that area," he said. "Obviously the demand is there."

Brownless said the events, particularly in the off season, attracted people to stay, dine and play in the city.

"Events attract events," he said.

Tauranga City Council city events manager Gareth Wallis said big events placed a more significant demand on infrastructure, amenities and services - as well as a wide range of events and venues.

"Events not only attract visitors and help grow the economy, they also bring excitement, culture and entertainment that our community wants to experience in our own city," he said.

"Tauranga's reputation as an event-friendly and enabling city is growing and we aim to support the city's event industry to deliver great social and economic benefits to residents and visitors alike."

Wallis said a broader variety of venues across the city would attract new events to the city and help Tauranga achieve its long-term economic and social aspirations.

Highlights for 2017/2018:
- Bryan Adams: about 8000 people
- Bay Dreams: more than 24,000 people
- World Junior Squash Championships: more than 17,000 people
- Aims Games: more than 10,000 11 to 13-year-olds and families

Looking forward:
What: A Summer's Day Disco
Who: Disco icons Kool and the Gang, Village People, The Pointer Sisters, Sister Sledge and Sounds of the Supremes and The Jacksons' Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon
Where: Mount Maunganui's ASB Baypark
When: January 10