Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Vector Arena

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Owner  Auckland City Council
Broke ground  June 2004
Phone  +64 9-358 1250
Operator  Live Nation
Capacity  12,000
Vector Arena
Former names  Auckland City Arena (planning/construction)
Location  42-80 Mahuhu Crescent, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand
Opened  24 March 2007; 10 years ago (2007-03-24)
Address  Mahuhu Cres, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
Similar  Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Qudos Bank Arena, Perth Arena, Rod Laver Arena
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The Vector Arena is multipurpose arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Named for a sponsor, Vector Limited, the venue is located at Quay Park, Parnell, very close to the former The Strand Station. The arena cost about $94 million, and of this sum ratepayers contributed $68 million for the facility to be managed by QPAM, the NZ operator, in New Zealand first big public-private partnership. This runs for 40 years before ownership is transferred to the city.

Contents

After delays due to construction-related issues, the arena's first concert was Rock Star Supernova on 24 March 2007.

On May 9, 2016, it was announced the naming sponsorship with Vector Limited ended in June 2016. Telco provider, Spark New Zealand will take over naming rights in April 2017. On 19 April 2017, the venue will be known as the "Spark Arena".

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Quay Park Arena Management Ltd (QPAM Ltd)

QPAM Ltd was incorporated on the 10th January 2002 specifically to manage Vector Arena.

Jacobsen Venue Management Ltd (JVM Ltd)

QPAM owner (100%) 2002 - 2010

JVM Ltd was an Australian family company which managed the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney Capitol Theatre and Vector Arena. JVM Ltd had a 100% share in QPAM Ltd from 2002 until September 2010 when it was forced to sell after being put into administration in Australia during 2009.

Live Nation NZ Ltd

QPAM owner (50%) 2015 - current

Live Nation NZ is 70 percent owned by New York Stock Exchange-listed Live Nation Entertainment, one of the world's largest producers of live music, with the remaining 30 percent owned by MHC, an investment vehicle of concert promoter Michael Coppel.

Live Nation NZ's immediate 70 percent owner is Ticketmaster NZ, the ticketing and events promotion business.

Michael Coppel

QPAM owner (20%) 2015 - current

Michael Coppel is President & CEO of Live Nation Australasia.

Live Nation Australasia is a result of the US based Live Nation Entertainment purchasing Coppel’s company, Michael Coppel Presents (MCP), which was based out of Melbourne.

Coppel is responsible for bringing musical acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West and U2 to Australia.

Bruce MacTaggart

Executive Chairman 2002 – 2010

QPAM Director & 50% owner 2010 - 2012

Bruce Mactaggart has mainly lived in New Zealand with his family since 2004, when he moved here from Australia where he had been General Manager at Melbourne Olympic Parks. He began as Vector Arena’s Chief Executive prior to its design and saw it through to its opening. Since then Mactaggart has been Vector Arena’s Executive Chairman, with a highlight being the nomination of Vector Arena as the Best Arena in the World at the annual Pollstar International Touring Awards in Los Angeles in January 2008. Mactaggart also created the Immersion Edutainment Group in 2007 to pursue an idea he had for a completely new concept in live entertainment, which combines live theatre with education and so provides entertainment for the whole family. The result was Walking with Dinosaurs – The Live Experience, during which an Indiana Jones-type character tells the story of the creature’s evolution and ultimate extinction through 15 stunningly realistic dinosaurs, including a T. Rex that is 23 metres from nose to tail. It is now one of the most successful shows in history. Prior to his involvement in the entertainment industry Mactaggart was the Managing Director of Bond Miles Coulter, an integrated marketing, advertising and media agency in Melbourne, and General Manager of Marketing and Sales, as well as Investment Fund and Insurance Operations at Australian Unity/Manchester Unity.

Stuart Clumpas

QPAM Director 2010 – Current

QPAM 50% owner 2010 – 2012 (shared with Bruce MacTaggart)

QPAM 100% owner 2012 – 2015 (bought fully from Bruce MacTaggart)

QPAM 30% owner 2015 – current (sold 50% to Live Nation & 20% Michael Coppell)

Stuart Clumpas moved to New Zealand with his family from Scotland in 2001. But it was while he was gaining his MA (Hons) in Accounting and Economics from Dundee University that he got his start in the music business. As entertainment convener he booked such emerging talent in the 1980s as The Pretenders, Def Leppard and UB40 Over the next 20 years he built up DF concerts, originally Dance Factory Concerts, to become Scotland’s main concert promoter and event producer, who promote shows from the latest happening act in a small bar to the likes of AC/DC at Stadiums. Included in his portfolio were two of the major UK pop festivals; T In The Park, now the largest outdoor event in Scotland which won Sponsorship of the Year Awards at the UK Media Week Awards two years in a row, and the two V Festivals in England, where the sponsor is Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Since taking a break from the mainstream music industry in 2001, Stuart has been involved in NZ projects as diverse as PilotExpo, (an aviation expo at Ardmore Airport) the Transmission Room (a combined licensed live TV studio and events space in Auckland), and mentoring a concert promotions business which brought Snow Patrol and Muse, among others, to New Zealand.

Ngati Whatua

Ngati Whatua are a Maori tribe which negotiated the purchase of 20 hectares of ex-CBD Rail Lands from the Crown for $40m. The Quay Park property stretches from Britomart on the Western boundary to Parnell Bridge to the East and boarded by Quay St, The Strand, Ronayne St, Beach Rd and Britomart Place.

Quay Park is their largest earning asset, Quay Park, is home to Vector Arena, Countdown supermarket, three major apartment blocks and other commercial buildings including their head office. They are landlord under 29 separate leases within the Quay Park precinct. During 2012/2013 they successfully renegotiated 80% of the 29 leases on acceptable current-day terms, despite some negative publicity and criticism.

Arena ground lease

The arena sits on a large tract of land bordering Quay St, Mahuhu Cres and the old rail yards adjacent to The Strand in Parnell. QPAM has a sublease for a period of 40 years under which QPAM will pay an annual ground lease fee to the lessor (land owners) Ngati Whatua O Orakei. Under the terms of the arena's sublease the methodology of charging ground rent changed in August 2011 and now the ground lease is calculated as a percentage of the freehold market value of the land, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the ground lease fee. QPAM acknowledges Ngati Whatua as the owners of a valuable piece of land who are, as such, entitled to seek a return on that asset, and thus they have endeavored to come up with a workable formula for all.

"QPAM has absorbed a portion of the annual ground rent costs with the balance being funded in the form of a ticket levy. A levy of not more than $2.75 per ticket will appear as an outside ticket charge and for transparency is represented as 'Land Levy' at the point of payment."

Delays

Scheduled to open early 2006, this was first delayed towards the end of 2006, when a second opening date was again missed. The delays were apparently due to the Arena's builder, Mainzeal, having various problems with the structure, especially with the roof, where the 120 m main truss had to be strengthened, and where added insulation to waterproof the building against the humid local climate had to be included. In a related issue, extra ventilation also had to be installed to prevent internal humidity build-up during full-capacity events. The construction company reportedly faced huge losses on the project, and planned to sue the architects for partial compensation.

Suitability

Dave Rat, the sound engineer of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, has criticized the sound quality of the venue after the band played concerts in the Arena during April 2007. He noted that the echo from the curved roof was problematic, and that acoustic panels would need to be installed to improve the arena, especially for those listeners on the upper seating levels. He also criticised the polished concrete floors as too slippery for mass events.

Chris Tate(College Hill Limited), sound designer for Rockstar: Supernova's first concert at the arena, has however noted that the acoustics were better than expected, and could be improved further. It was also noted that such work is already in preparation.

Netball

Netball is regularly played at the venue with the New Zealand Silver Ferns playing on several occasions while the ANZ Championship has also used the arena on two occasions since 2010. The arena hosted the 2012-2014 Fast5 Netball World Series.

Professional Wrestling

Since 2008 Vector Arena has also been a regular host of World Wrestling Entertainment's tours of New Zealand, with Raw, SmackDown and ECW all performing at the venue.

Ice Hockey

In 2011 some 10,000 fans saw an Ice Hockey international between Canada and the United States on a $4.2m temporary ice rink.

Basketball

Vector arena announced that it would host its first National Basketball League game on 28 October 2011 when the defending champion (and Auckland based) New Zealand Breakers take on the Sydney Kings in Round 4 of the 2011–12 NBL season. The Arena hosted two more Breakers games during the season, against the Townsville Crocodiles in Round 8 (24 November) and the Kings in Round 17 (27 January 2012).

That first NBL game at Vector Arena drew a New Zealand record crowd for a basketball game when 6,900 saw the NZ Breakers defeat the Kings 76-59. This record was again broken in Round 17 of the 2011-12 season when 7,979 saw the Breakers again defeat the Kings 93-64.

On 13 March 2012 New Zealand Breakers General Manager Richard Clarke announced that due to the amount of support for the team (which is more than double the capacity of their regular home venue, the 4,400 seat North Shore Events Centre), that all Breakers finals games would be played at Vector Arena with capacity set at 8,500, subject to demand, with extra seating to be sold if needed. The Breakers finished the 2011-12 season as minor premiers giving them home court advantage in the Semi-finals and Grand Final (if they qualified). The Breakers qualified for the 2011-12 NBL Grand Final against the Perth Wildcats with games 1 and 3 being played at Vector. Game 1 saw the attendance record broken when 9,125 showed to see the Breakers win 104-98 in overtime. With the Wildcats winning game 2 in Perth 87-86, game 3 was required and the NZ Breakers won their second straight NBL Championship with a 79-73 win in front of yet another record attendance of 9,285.

Before the 2012-13 NBL season, the Breakers confirmed that they will play 5 regular season games at Vector Arena. The first game, played in front of 6,625 fans, saw the home side defeat the Adelaide 36ers 73-59 on 12 October. There were four other games at the arena during the regular season, on 16 November (Townsville), 13 December (Cairns Taipans), 1 February 2013 (Perth) and 14 March 2013 (Melbourne Tigers).

The Breakers once again broke their attendance record during Game 1 of the 2012-13 NBL Grand Final series against the Perth Wildcats when a capacity 9,330 fans saw the home team defeat the Wildcats 79-67. The NZ Breakers won their third straight NBL Championship by wrapping up the series with a 70-66 win over the Wildcats in front of 13,527 fans at the Perth Arena.

For the 2013–14 NBL season, the Breakers will play half of their home games at Vector Arena, totaling seven appearance at the arena. These are the season opener against Wollongong (10 October), round six clash against Adelaide (15 November), round seven clash against Townsville (22 November), round 10 clash against Perth (13 December), round 16 clash against Sydney (30 January), round 18 clash against Cairns (14 February) and round 23 clash also against Cairns (21 March). The Breakers will both start and end their ordinary season at Vector Arena.

The Breakers game against the Adelaide 36ers on 15 November 2013 saw the home sides first ever loss at Vector Arena. The Breakers led 94-93 with just over four seconds of the game remaining and had the inbound pass due to a time out. However, 36ers point guard Gary Ervin stole the inbound pass and drove the length of the floor to score a layup just before time expired to give the 36ers a 95-94 win in front of 7,470 fans. The Breakers then lost their second game at the venue when they were defeated 71-62 by the Perth Wildcats on 13 December 2013 in front of 7,597 fans. As a measure of the teams it took to finally defeat the Breakers at Vector, the Wildcats and the 36ers would go on to play in the 2013-14 NBL Grand Final series (won 2-1 by Perth).

Mixed Martial Arts

The arena got to play host to UFC Fight Night: Te Huna vs. Marquardt with over 8000 seats filled in attendance on 28 June 2014, the first UFC event in New Zealand, headlined by New Zealand's own James Te Huna and also featured New Zealand-born Australian Robert Whittaker and Auckland native Dan Hooker.

Boxing

The Arena will play host to their first boxing event on 10 December 2016 where the main event will be Joseph Parker vs Andy Ruiz for the vacant WBO World Heavyweight Title. This will be New Zealand's second major World title fight, first being Kali Reis vs Maricela Cornejo for the vacant WBC World Female Middleweight title on 16 April 2016 at The Trusts Arena. This will be New Zealand's first male World title and first Heavyweight World title fight hosted in New Zealand.

Other events

Other performers such as comedians Jeff Dunham, Patrick Motion and Russell Brand have performed at the arena.

Mike Tyson was due to bring his Day of Champions tour the Vector Arena in 2012, but he was not granted a visa to enter the country due to his previous criminal convictions. Controversial evangelist Benny Hinn staged his mass gathering at the venue on 9 June 2007.

References

Vector Arena Wikipedia


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