30 Jun 2017

Call to turn sports fields into self-funded venues

2:45 pm on 30 June 2017

The co-founder of a multi-purpose American rugby complex says New Zealand should re-think its funding model to make sports grounds more financially independent.

A soccer ball in the foreground, with a team of student players in the background.

Photo: 123RF

Most New Zealand sports grounds are at least part funded by public funds, either through local councils, trusts, or Sport NZ.

Rising costs associated with running grounds and dwindling player numbers are however jeopardising some clubs' futures.

Don Becker, who helped co-found Madison Rugby United in the US, said they had created dextrous facilities catering to many different sports.

He said they could also double up as function or wedding venues.

"Certainly the number of days in a year that a facility would be used are just so limited - particularly in the US but I think the same sort of thing is happening here.

"If you have a facility and it has space for meetings, space for occassions, weddings or whatever, it's a better use of the physical space."

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