Dave Burgess of the Dominion Post wrote:
Extra stand planned at Basin
DAVE BURGESS - The Dominion Post | Saturday, 13 September 2008
The Basin Reserve's backers are proposing a new grandstand to provide extra seats at the historic sports ground – and block spectators' views of a traffic flyover.
Basin Reserve Trust spokesman John Morrison said the stand would span 60 metres between the main stand and the grass embankment at the northern end of the ground.
"It would replace what is a messy rundown area at the Basin that includes Stalin-era-type toilets."
The new stand, which is yet to be costed, would be the third at the Basin and could include indoor and outdoor seating, state-of-the-art player facilities and hospitality areas.
The number of seats has yet to be decided but it would increase the ground's current spectator capacity of 11,600.
The rickety gates would be replaced with an eye-catching entrance under the stand, with access along a tree-lined boulevard between Kent and Cambridge terraces.
The stand would totally obscure the flyover – which is to be built within five years to link the Mt Victoria tunnel with the inner-city bypass – from spectators.
"The flyover is likely to be about two storeys high so the stand would only have to be 10 to 12 metres high to be above that."
Mr Morrison said the stand would be lower than the top of the pohutukawa trees that ring the ground.
The New Zealand Transport Agency will construct the $33 million flyover, which is expected to use land on the corner of Kent Tce and Ellice St that is now occupied by derelict buildings.
A vacant section beside St Joseph's Catholic Church, near the Mt Victoria tunnel, could also be used.
"That means we might be able to claw back some land at the Basin so that the stand expands outside the current boundary of the ground," said Mr Morrison, a Wellington city councillor and former New Zealand cricketer.
The Basin was "loved by many Wellingtonians" and they should not worry that a new stand would ruin the 140-year-old venue.
"We will go to unbelievable lengths to ensure that everything fits in with the character and history of the Basin. We will end up with an absolutely magnificent ground."
He stressed that the grass embankment, dear to the hearts of many cricket fans, would be retained.
"There is no intention whatsoever of touching the embankment. It is an iconic feature of the ground and it links directly to its success."
The cost of the stand had yet to be established but Mr Morrison said funding could come from Wellington City and Greater Wellington councils and the NZTA.
The first of two workshops would be held on Thursday to prepare details of the proposal, which could also include a makeover at the southern end of the ground.
Very early stages but very exciting too. The last time a new stand was proposed it was for the western side south of the old stand where a weatherboard house currently stands. This one would be to the right of the Vance Stand, so that the stand in age would get yougner as you move clockwise around the ground. There isn't much room there but they will reclaim part of the road as they flyover moves north over existing private land that will be purchased.
I still think something needs to be done to the western side. It would probably be a waste or overdevelopment to put a stand there but it just looks out of place.