Spark Arena is a multipurpose arena in Auckland, 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: 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: Since 2008 Vector Arena has also been a regular host of World Wrestling Entertainment’s tours of New Zealand, with Raw, SmackDown and ECW all performing at the venue.
Ice hockey: In 2011 some 10,000 fans saw an ice hockey international between Canada and the United States on a $4.2m temporary ice rink.
Basketball: Vector arena announced that it would host its first National Basketball League game on 28 October 2011 when the defending champion 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 and the Kings in Round 17.
BMX: 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.
Boxing: 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 first male world title and first heavyweight world title fight hosted in New Zealand, and New Zealand’s second major world title fight, the first being Kali Reis vs Maricela Cornejo for the vacant WBC World Female Middleweight title on 16 April 2016 at The Trusts Arena.
Other performers such as comedians Jeff Dunham, Billy Connolly and Russell Brand have performed at the arena. Feld Entertainment’s Disney on Ice shows also play here every year in August. 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.