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Claudelands 10-Year Re-Opening Anniversary

Hamilton’s showpiece event venue is turning 10.

Claudelands marks a decade of diversity in June, having hosted international sports teams, some of the music industry’s biggest names, as well as community events, corporate functions and trade shows.

Sean Murray, Executive Director of H3 – the division of Hamilton City Council responsible for management of Claudelands – says the venue and the staff who manage the venue have built on the rich history of the site, welcoming close to 2.5 million attendees through the door for more than 2,800 events over those 10 years.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve delivered at Claudelands – from Bob Dylan and Ricky Martin to international netball and the Great New Zealand Beer Festival – so I can confidently say there really has been something for everyone.”

“And I think our community would agree.”

Mr Murray says the wider impact Claudelands has on the city is significant: “The events we host are huge boosts for the local economy, with guests staying in nearby accommodation, dining out in local eateries and spending in shops. That makes a big difference to the city and regional economy, keeping people in jobs and contributing to making Hamilton an interesting and lively city its residents are proud of.”

The success of Claudelands – and the commitment and expertise of the H3 team – have earned the venue several industry accolades including the Event Venues Association Supreme Venue of the Year and Large Venue of the Year in 2014, and Large Venue of the Year for 2019. It’s also claimed a New Zealand Institute of Architects Award for the colour palette – a key feature of Claudelands striking exterior appearance.

Previously the city’s harness racing venue, with an adjacent basic hangar-like building and stables, Claudelands has been hosting events since the late 1800s. The transformation of Claudelands into the modern multi-purpose events space – comprising an arena, conference and meeting rooms and exhibition halls – began in 2007 and took four years to compete. It was formally reopened in June 2011 by then-Mayor Julie Hardaker and hosted a public open day for the community to explore the new facility and its features – with an estimated 12,000 people attending for a sneak preview.

An essential element to the achievements and uniqueness of Claudelands is the people – past and present – who have contributed to the shaping and development of Claudelands Events Centre.

“The H3 team has always strived to make Claudelands more than just a venue,” Mr Murray says. “We’ve always put a huge amount of effort into being accommodating, committed and affable to clients and guests - and leaving a lasting impression. The fact we’re seeing a lot of returning business and familiar faces in the crowd shows us we’re doing that.”

“The extensive transformation of Claudelands has given Hamilton a diverse hub for events. It has evolved the Hamilton events scene by providing a space with endless opportunity and versatility for event organisers and promoters,” Mr Murray says.

Throughout the month of June, you can hear more about the achievements, milestones and enter in 10-year anniversary giveaways through the Claudelands Facebook and Instagram pages.