Press Release – Regional Facilities Auckland
15 March 2019
The chair of Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), Andrew Barnes, is delighted to confirm that RFA has reached an agreement with Springs Promotions Limited (SPL) promoter Bill Buckley to extend Speedway’s lease at Western Springs for 12 months. The lease had been set to end at the close of the season, with the final fixture scheduled for 16 March, but the replacement site identified by Auckland Council, Colin Dale Park, is not yet fit for purpose.
Mr Barnes says, “We have come to an agreement with Mr Buckley that buys some time for Auckland Council to organise a permanent home for Speedway. We have succeeded in resolving the matter for now so Speedway can continue uninterrupted in the short term, but some critical and urgent decisions have to be made by Auckland Council so we do not find ourselves in this situation ever again.”
The agreement is aligned with an earlier, expired memorandum of understanding which had allowed for SPL to continue its events at Western Springs until the end of the 2019-2020 season, while efforts were made to secure a suitable alternative venue for the speedway classes operating at Western Springs. He says RFA considered it reasonable to renew that offer of a one-year extension while the other deliberations around an alternative venue continue.
Mr Buckley says, “Speedway’s view is that the proposed alternative venue of Colin Dale Park would be suitable, but we cannot move from Western Springs until it is ready, and Council has not yet approved the necessary funding to upgrade it. Speedway has a lot of very passionate supporters and we were never going to be thrown out of our home without an alternative in place.”
“We appreciate RFA’s collaborative approach in finding a short-term solution, but the problem remains and only Council can solve it. RFA and I have agreed that unless Council fixes this we will all find ourselves back dealing with this in a year’s time.”
Mr Barnes says, “RFA will work collaboratively with Council, as we have with Mr Buckley, but it is Council’s responsibility to take the lead and find a permanent home which meets the needs of Speedway fans and is appropriate for Auckland’s ratepayers. Speedway is part of the city’s sporting culture and it is not acceptable for it to have nowhere to go.”