Spark Arena (formerly Vector Arena) is a multipurpose arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
|Former names||Auckland City Arena (planning/construction)|
Vector Arena (2007–17)
|Address||42-80 Mahuhu Cres|
Parnell, Auckland 1010
|Location||Quay Park, Downtown Auckland|
|Operator||Quay Park Arena Management|
|Broke ground||7 June 2004|
|Opened||24 March 2007|
|Construction cost||NZ$ 94.8 million|
|Structural engineer||Holmes Consulting Group|
|Main contractors||Dominion Constructors|
|New Zealand Breakers (NBL) (2012–present)|
Named for sponsor Spark New Zealand, the venue is located at Quay Park, Parnell, very close to Britomart Transport Centre and The Strand Station. The arena cost approximately $94 million, and of this sum ratepayers contributed $68 million for the facility to be managed by QPAM, the NZ operator, in New Zealand's first big public-private partnership. This runs for 40 years before ownership is transferred to the city.
After delays due to construction-related issues, the arena's first concert was Rock Star Supernova on 24 March 2007.
Vector Limited held the naming rights from the venue's opening in 2007 until April 2017, during which time it was called Vector Arena. On 19 April 2017, Spark New Zealand took over the naming rights, renaming the venue Spark Arena.
Quay Park Arena Management Ltd was incorporated in 2002 to construct and operate the stadium, in a deal between the company's owners and the then Auckland City Council. In 2005, the company was renamed QPAM Ltd. QPAM has ultimately been owned by EVENZ Limited since 2012. Shares in EVENZ were purchased by American company Live Nation Entertainment and Australian company MHC Investments after approval by the Overseas Investment Office in August 2016.
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
- Ice hockey
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 took 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).
The 32nd BMX World Championships, attracted over two thousand riders from 33 countries, was held in the then Vector Arena over the week of 24-28 July, 2013. Construction of the track took six days involving approximately 10,000 pallets and 60 truck and trailer loads of dirt. The confines meant there was insufficient room to build two separate ramps, so a hydraulic movable one was built to allow the ramp to be moved from 5 meter height to 8 meters.
The Arena played host to its first boxing event on 10 December 2016: Joseph Parker vs Andy Ruiz for the vacant WBO World Heavyweight Title. This was 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 was New Zealand's first male World title and first Heavyweight World title fight hosted in New Zealand.
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.
- "Mainzeal loses $A19.8m on Vector Arena". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- "Naming rights sponsor". Auckland City Council. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005.
- Orsman, Bernard (12 December 2006). "Secret update for council on troubled Vector Arena". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Tommy Lee’s Rock Star Supernova, Melbourne's “Anti-Rock Stars” Wrap World Tour - Press Release, Sunday 25 March 2007
- "Vector Arena becomes Spark Arena". New Zealand Herald. 9 May 2016. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
- "QPAM Limited". Companies Office. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Anthony, John (10 May 2016). "Vector Arena to get new name under Spark deal". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- Guerin, Michael (24 July 2011). "Ice Hockey: Pucking good time on the ice". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Record Basketball Crowd Just Got Bigger". Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "Breakers confirm Vector Arena for 2012 NBL Finals". Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- NBL Fixtures 2013/14 Archived 12 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- McKendry, Patrick. "Vector Arena confirmed as venue for Joseph Parker title fight". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- GRIMSHAW, CHARLOTTE. "Blood, sweat and... empowerment? In the ring with women's boxing". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 8 November 2016.