A multimillion-dollar, multisport facility at Smallbone Park is a step closer after a detailed feasibility study into the proposal was finished.
In February 2016 it was announced a new sports village was being planned for Smallbone Park which would see multiple sports clubs move into a joint state-of-the-art facility.
Plans had been thrown around for a couple of years to build a shared clubhouse but representatives from sports clubs set up a project group to move the development forward in 2016.
A feasibility study, originally due mid-last year, was released at the end of January.
It was done by a working group including Sport Bay of Plenty and stakeholders from Rotorua Hockey, Springfield Golf Club, Rotorua Cricket and Squash Bay of Plenty, alongside a consultancy company.
The study was not provided to the Rotorua Daily Post due to "sensitive information and data" but Sport Bay of Plenty regional facilities and community sport team leader Zane Jensen said the study indicated further investigations, including a draft business plan, should be progressed.
"The detailed feasibility study concluded the proposed Smallbone Park project has the potential to provide a true multisport facility approach that would meet many of the needs of the potential partner organisations and establish a community hub for the entire Rotorua region.
"An initial business model also indicated the proposed facility is likely to be viable."
Jensen said while detailed figures about the cost hadn't yet been laid out, "looking at similar facilities around the country would suggest it would be a multimillion-dollar exercise".
Rotorua Lakes Council owns the grounds at Smallbone Park. Funding for public toilets at the park is provided for in the Long-Term Plan as part of the funding for a number of sports facility upgrades.
The council has a representative on the working group which undertook the study and contributed $4000 towards it.
Council's sport, recreation and environment manager Rob Pitkethley said the council would continue to provide input during the next phase of work.
"One of the goals of the district's 2030 vision is to provide outstanding places to play and one outcome of that is encouraging active communities.
"Our work towards achieving this includes ensuring we have good quality sports facilities that are well used and supporting the sustainability of sports clubs and codes."
Sport club stakeholders referred questions to Jensen.
From here, the working group will undertake further investigations including a detailed operational plan, design concepts and a business case.
"Each club and organisation will individually decide on a final commitment to the project once all investigations have been completed," Jensen said.