Press Release – Westpac Stadium
John Shewan, Chair of the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust (WRST), announced today the pending retirement of the Stadium’s Chief Executive, David Gray.
John Shewan said: “David will retire from the role after 16 years, having started with the WRST in 1997 on a monthly contract to assist in getting what was then just a project started. At that time he was involved in the feasibility study for a stadium, the design process, funding, and the construction contracts.
“Since the opening of the Westpac Stadium in 2000 David has been pivotal in making it one of the most successful stadiums in Australasia both in terms of the variety and the quality of events. It has also been highly successful in standing on its own feet from a financial performance perspective.
“David has been instrumental from the opening day in getting the Stadium to be financially autonomous, provide a full event calendar and maintain and develop the Stadium to the standard of international best practice. Through his work and the development of a great team the Stadium has been able to provide to the Wellington Region social and economic benefits well beyond expectations.
“David’s retirement on 30 June is part of a planned transitional process that started last year with the retirement of Paul Collins as Chair of the Trust. Under the stewardship of this dynamic team the Stadium, by June, will have held 522 major events and 70-80 community events, and welcomed its seven millionth patron. Together they also spearheaded the development of the Stadium Master Plan which through its implementation will ensure that the Westpac Stadium stays at the top of its game for now and into the future,” John Shewan said.
David Gray said today: “It has been an incredible journey with many outstanding Wellingtonians helping to make the Stadium the success it is today, and providing critical support in getting the Stadium funded, built and ensuring it was New Zealand’s most successful venue.
“Particular highlights for me have been: The Sevens; the Hurricanes, especially the 2006 semi finals; the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with 88,000 attending; the Robbie Williams concert, our first that was attended by 42,000; the Rolling Stones concert; securing and holding the WWE Wrestling; the British and Irish Lions v Wellington and the All Blacks; the growth of the Phoenix and their finals matches; All Whites v Bahrain; the excitement of the two ACDC concerts; and of course, the Rugby World Cup 2011.
“I have no doubt the Stadium will continue to provide enormous benefits to the region, and that the current capital development plans will ensure Wellington continues to attract exciting events, and provide new levels of service to future patrons,” David Gray said.
The CEO role for the Westpac Stadium is being advertised and it is expected that an appointment will be made and the new appointee will take up the position before David Gray’s departure at the end of June.