New seating is up at Waikaraka Park Speedway setting the stage for a bumper summer season.
After several years of uncertainty, during which the old grandstand building was closed due to safety concerns, then a pause in the process as the historical value of the building was discussed and the cost of restoration considered, in August 2020 the final decision to demolish the 85-year-old grandstand was confirmed and works initiated.
In August 2020, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board also approved funding to supply temporary seating to replace the grandstand, which would allow the venue to cater to the sized events required to cover costs and provide a feasible service.
2,000 temporary seats were purchased which will have a life span of up to 15 years.
“It was important that seating was arranged that will allow the Waikaraka Speedways facility to continue to provide for their community and ensure the popular sporting events held at the speedway can continue” explains Chris Makoare Chair of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board.
Over the next month, additional works to bring the facility up to standard will be undertaken, these works include installation of four toilet blocks, bring the full number of toilet cubicles to 30, enough to cater for a full house. Other works include stairwell lighting, resurfacing of pathways and the construction of a windbreak at the back of the grandstand area.
“This has been a real team effort, working with the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, Waikaraka Park Speedway Club and contractors (Ward Demolition and Acrow)," explains Auckland Council Project Lead Carl Ziervogel.
"We all aimed to stretch the budget as far as possible to be able to deliver on all of the needs for the club to open within budget, we got there in the end, and this is an example of the hard work and solid relationships within this community."
Fun fact: ‘vomitory’ is the term used to describe stairwells leading into/out of grandstand from the back
Watch this stunning time-lapse video to see the removal and replacement of the grandstand.