Saxton Field to hold 2013 Masters
Story by: - Photo by: Marc Palmano - Shuttersport
The South Island Masters Games are confirmed to return to Saxton Field in 2013.
Organisers said the regional sports complex came up trumps during last week's seven days of competition.
South Island Masters Games general manager Chris Thomas said the multi-discipline sports complex was unique in New Zealand.
About 2900 athletes and 1500 spectators used Saxton Field as home base during the games which hosted 50 sports ranging from motocross to disc golf.
"It's a fantastic complex and it held up well," Chris said.
"One day we had around 1400 people competing there across seven different sports and the place was virtually humming."
The decision to confirm the region's rights to hold the 2013 games had just been made, he said.
It was likely the event would once more be held in spring and the region could expect to see more participants, he said.
"The Christchurch earthquake made it very hard to market the games in Canterbury. We expected around 1100 people from there and ended up with 600."
However the shortfall was made up by more than expected entrants from this region and the games met budget and turned a profit, he said.
Chris said the size of the Masters Games' crowd pushed some complex facilities to capacity and highlighted a few issues, like the need for more spectator capacity, kitchen improvements in the netball pavilion and the installation of permanent internet and phone cabling.
"But overall we give it a high pass mark and a big thumbs up in terms of the sporting side."
Tasman Regional Sports Event Trust chairman Bruce Fraser said the sports complex was a huge success. The Trust was pivotal in bringing the games to Nelson and held the event rights for 2013.
"'People were really impressed and the grounds coped with the demand placed on it by the number of codes.
"The unique aspect of the grounds is that it has so many codes in a relatively confined area which allows people to maximise common areas."
This enabled competitors and spectators from different codes to interact with each other, he said.
He said the region, and the games organisers, owed a debt to the New Zealand Community Trust for funding Saxton Field and the Masters Games.
"They have helped create a unique asset and one that is going to reap an awful lot of benefit to the region for years to come."
Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne said news of the games return in 2013 was excellent.
"They were a very happy group of people, they had great fun and it was good for the region to have them here.