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On 11 June 2010 the Prime Minister, John Key, and Minister for Sport and Recreation, Murray McCully announced a major reshaping and expansion of high performance sports in New Zealand. One of the key programmes included in the announcement was the development of a cycling centre of excellence, to build on the success of Bike NZ’s high performance programme.
In July 2010, Sport & Recreation NZ (SPARC) announced that it would run a tender process for the development of the National Cycling Centre of Excellence that would expand high performance cycling outcomes; increase awareness of and participation in cycling disciplines within the community; and nurture increased levels of high performance cycling talent. SPARC specified that as well as a world-class velodrome, the centre would also need to have ready access to world- class training and competition facilities for road, MTB and BMX, alongside accessible community facilities.
The Home of Cycling (HoC) Charitable Trust was established with the principle objective to promote cycling at all levels within NZ, as well as to build, own and operate the National Centre of Excellence in the Waikato/BOP for all forms and all levels of cycling, recreational to high performance.
From 11 tenders, SPARC selected the Waikato/BOP bid from the HoC as preferred tenderer and on the 14 September 2011, following a $6m investment from Waikato Regional Council; SPARC confirmed the Waikato/Bay of Plenty HoC as the successful tenderer.
Construction of the Avantidrome began in June 2012 and was completed in February 2014 – taking a total of 21 months to complete.
The track was officially opened by their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Princess Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on 12 April 2014.
Five years on from opening, the Avantidrome is proving its worth in both the High Performance Sport realm, and the community.