The preferred location for an indoor arena in Wellington has been found, but it will be months before the land is free to be built on.
Mayors from across the wider region discussed the options at a meeting yesterday, and believed Kings Wharf, owned by Centreport, was the best place to put a 12,000-seat indoor arena.
Earlier this year five options were released, including the Centreport option.
Kings Wharf was one of the only places in the city an indoor arena would be successful, mayor Justin Lester said.
But first the council needed to secure the land.
"We currently don't own it, it's in the ownership of Centreport, and at the moment they're not clear what their future use of that land will be.
"There's an exciting opportunity, that it could work, but we won't know that for sure until the second half of 2019."
A report earlier this year said that an indoor arena with 12,000 seats could bring about $26 million into the region every year.
It would mean acts like Ed Sheeran, or Taylor Swift, who had bypassed the city in the past, might stop in, Mr Lester said.
If the Centreport land was not available - the project would go back to the drawing board, but everyone believed Kings Wharf was the best place for the arena.
Centreport is considering where to put a multi-use ferry terminal, and Kings Wharf is one of two preferred locations.
The new terminal would provide infrastructure for both Interislander and Bluebridge ferries, and would be part of a new masterplan for the whole port, including a new cruise ship terminal, and potentially changing the configuration of the container terminal and log yard.
Greater Wellington Regional Council chairperson Chris Laidlaw said a multi-agency approach was being taken to the whole precinct.
It was a complex matrix, because the city's transport plan, called Let's Get Wellington Moving, also had to be taken into consideration.
It would be fantastic to have an arena in the area, and possibly housing, Mr Laidlaw said.
"There are a lot of players in this, there are a lot of difficulties in this, because there are a lot of corridors, we want to speed up public transport through that, we want more people cycling and walking through the area, all those have got to be fitted into the matrix.
"It's a gigantic operation, and it's going to take us another nine months to get there."
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Lance Walker said it was hoped the arena would become the best in the country.
The arena would provide a space for more than concerts.
"We're talking sporting events, big family events like Cirque de Soleil and Disney on Ice, so it really is designed to attract a whole range of events."