World Masters Games organisers are confident their event has acted as a catalyst for Auckland and New Zealand to host future major sporting events, including another possible Commonwealth Games bid.

WMG2017 is drawing to a close, after 10 days of competition across 28 sports at 48 venues around Auckland and Cambridge, with more than 16,000 medals presented and more than 6000 of them gold.

Chief executive Jennah Wootten hopes to hear at tonight's closing ceremony that it has been the most successful Games ever. The previous benchmark has been set by Sydney in 2009, with the 2014 edition taking place at Torino, Italy.

"It's the Kiwi way to push big, and want to exceed and tip the previous hosts off their perch," admits Wootten.


"For us, when we heard a lot of people talk about Sydney and, at the end of Torino, when Sydney was still considered the best Games ever, we knew we had a pretty big task ahead of us, but we knew we were up for the challenge."

The event seems to have progressed without major incident. Considering the age demographic of competitors, it's perhaps a minor miracle that no fatalities have been reported.

Ponsonby rugby stalwart Steven Ioane, relative of All Blacks and Blues stars Rieko and Akira Ioane, collapsed at Pakuranga's Lloyd Elsmore Park on Thursday, but was in a stable condition in Middlemore Hospital's coronary care unit yesterday.

Garth Barfoot talks about participating in the World Masters Games sprint tri at St Heliers.

Wootten believes her team's performance has set the region up well to host major international sporting events, even though the World Masters Games are primarily focused on participants, not so much spectators.

"It's been an incredible week," she reflects. "We had really bold aspirations - we talked about 25,000 athletes and the desire to attract athletes from 100 different countries around the world.

"When you actually see those numbers happen and come to life, you see them coming through the airport and through the gates of Queen's Wharf, it's a pretty special feeling, having talked about it for four-and-a-half years.

"Certainly, what we've heard over the past nine days is that we're doing pretty well and there's a lot to be very proud of. Our volunteers have been incredible, our competition venues have really stacked up alongside some of the best venues in the world and the athletes are having a fantastic time."

The ultimate endorsement, though, will come from the International Masters Games Association, which now shares a strengthened relationship with the International Olympic Committee.

That bond will see future World Masters Games hosted by Olympic cities or countries, as part of their legacy component. Hopefully, that means venues will continue to have a life after the Olympics have passed, unlike Rio, where some lie unused and in ruins less than 12 months later.

Auckland may be the last host to not run hand-in-hand with the Olympics - Tokyo has the 2020 Olympics and the Japanese province of Kansai, more by coincidence than design, is set down for the next World Masters Games the following year.

But Wootten is adamant the Commonwealth Games is still within Auckland's grasp. New Zealand's biggest city has staged them twice before - in 1950 and 1990, with Christchurch also stepping up in 1974.

On that basis, New Zealand is probably overdue to play host again and if it can't, given that South Africa and Durban have dropped the ball for 2022, the future of the Commonwealth Games must be in jeopardy.

"Quite frankly, I do think we're ready for that next challenge," says Wootten. "Who knows what it will be, but absolutely we should be thinking about Commonwealth Games and we should be preparing to have the discussion around 2026.

"New Zealand has done a really good job of showing it can deliver single-discipline major sporting events, but we've shown over the past nine days that we can do multi-sport, we can do multi-venue, we can handle the logistics and we can handle complexity."

Three issues that would undoubtedly need more work are accommodation, spectator facilities and transport.

While participants arranged their own accommodation for the World Masters Games, organisers would need to locate and perhaps construct an athlete village for the Commonwealth Games.

WMG2017 events did not attract the huge numbers of spectators you could expect from a Commonwealth Games, so some investment would be required to cater for bigger crowds at venues.

And while public transport seemed to get competitors everywhere they needed to be on time, without inconveniencing the rest of Auckland going about its business, again, moving bigger spectator numbers around is a much more challenging proposition.

But Wootten expects the WMG2017 to be successful on two major counts - delivering economic benefits to the region, and leaving a social legacy around leading healthy and active lives.

"In terms of a Commonwealth Games, you'd have to make sure the business case stacked up," says Wootten. "But each major event that continues to deliver benefits and achieve KPI's set for them, that demonstrates that the methodology and how we make these decisions is sound.

"Let's use the same methodology and let's run the same feasibility assessment, and see whether it stacks up."