McDonald's Whanganui has super-sized the pot to ensure the replacement of the hockey turf at Gonville Domain is completed on budget and in time for the New Zealand Masters Games in February.
The fastfood outlet's owners Darren and Jacinta Rowland has stumped up $50,000 to sign up as naming sponsor of the refurbished complex to now be known as McDonald's Hockey Stadium. The deal is a 10-year arrangement between McDonald's Whanganui and Hockey Wanganui.
In late October Hockey Wanganui decided to go ahead with the major turf upgrade despite a shortfall of $155,000 from the $795,000 estimated total cost.
Operations manager and former Black Stick Robbie Matthews said Hockey Wanganui was always the shortfall would be met with the backing of players, supporters, families, companies, the community and a major naming sponsor.
"We are extremely fortnunate to have McDonald's Whanganui come on board and along with other sponsors already signed and others yet to commit were are confident we can finish on budget and in time for the 30th anniversary of the New Zealand Masters Gamesin February," Matthews said.
"Darren and Jacinta have been extremely generous and we are excited about the future with them on board."
Darren Rowland said it was not a decision he and his wife made lightly, but the sums added up and a family love of the sport sealed the deal.
"I was brought up in Taranaki and have played hockey for nearly 30 years and joined Tech when I moved to Whanganui 11 years ago," Rowland said.
"I don't play now, but our three boys do and I am a coach still very active in the sport here - it's (hockey) in our blood and this was an ideal way to give back to the sport. This is by far the biggest sponsorship deal we have entered into with our company, but everything just seemed to stack up. we re delighted to be part of this new venture," Rowland said.
Hockey Wanganui co-chairman Aaron Manville and Matthews said there was still a small shortfall to meet, but they were confident that would be met with ongoing discussions with various groups and individuals within the community proving fruitful.
"We are on track to finish on time so long as the weather plays its part," Manville said.
"The asphalt will be ready to go down around January 7,8 and 9 followed by the rubber layering around January 10,11,12. Then we plan to get our young players involved to help roll out the mat. We have already installed six permanent water cannons to keep the turf in the right order on game days.We are planning the official opening on February 7.
"Tiger Turf, who is commissioned to complete the refurishment, is confident everything will be ready."
In the meantime, Matthews work was being done behind the scenes to add to the already impressive list of backers fro the project.
"We have already signed up Dave Hoskin Transport, Tasman Tanning, Mars Petcare, Wanganui Toyota and Lints Family as sponsors in our gold category, while Wanganui Vet Servicwes, Burgess matting and Surfacing and Wanganui Hunting and Fishing are in the silver category and Prue Anderson Accounting, Hire It, M and S Skedgewell and R and K Amon are bronze sponsors.
"We are still in the process of updating our existing hoarding sponsors and looking forward to continuing their relationship" Matthews said.