A new community cricket hub is one step closer to becoming reality after council signalled its support at a community services committee meeting for the project led by Northern Districts Cricket.

Once the final tick is given to the community cricket hub, it could take just three years for its doors to open.

Northern Districts Cricket CEO Ben MacCormack said that the community hub's development is needed because Northern Districts Cricket lacks a home.

"Currently we don't have anywhere within our association's boundary that fills all our requirements to come together and train indoors as a group.

Advertisement

A hub such as this will give us a home for our players to develop their cricket in a purpose-built environment," Mr MacCormack said.

"If we get the green light, then this centre will be used by not only our first class male and female players, but our younger players coming through the ranks and community cricketers as well."

The proposal includes duplicating the existing outdoor nets and redeveloping the entrance to Seddon Park's Gate D.

Doubling of the outdoor grass wickets would allow access to women, youth and community teams while also upholding the international standards required when the Whiteferns and Black Caps play in Hamilton.

The Gate D entrance will be levelled, allowing for a more obvious flow for patrons from the city's hospitality district, and the transport interchange into Seddon Park.

It will further increase accessibility to the venue for all Hamiltonians and those who attend the venue from around the country.

Mr MacCormack said the proposed improvements to the infrastructure to the outdoor nets and having a purpose-built entrance and entertainment space are critical to meet the expectations of international cricket players and visitors, and to ensure future matches in Hamilton.

"Seddon Park already has a reputation as one of the best boutique cricketing ovals in the world, and if we can make it even more attractive and functional as an events space, this will greatly improve the experience of our visitors."

Funding for the proposed development will be sought from a number of sources, including trusts, central government grants and sponsorship.

Mr MacCormack was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.

"While we still have some legislative and permission aspects to work through with Council, the reception we received was certainly encouraging — we can now progress with putting more solid plans in place and pushing forward with the project."

Despite the council support, the meeting brought controversy as Mayor Andrew King was disappointed he could not move a motion to change the word 'support' to 'approve'

After advice from city council governance staff that using the word approve would be outside the jurisdiction of the committee meeting, the mayor continued to try to form a motion with the word approve.

In the original motion, council had supported the project but indicated it would need to close a section of Bryce Street, which council could not approve at that meeting as it required its own separate motion.

"At the end of the day this was going to come back to council so I just struggle to see why this was not legally robust to change the word support to agreement," Mayor King said.

"I have to accept that staff believes that is putting council at jeopardy so I withdrew my motion, so bureaucracy wins again."

Councillor Paula Southgate who chairs the community and services committee responded to the mayor saying that it is important the council values the advice of governance when it is given.