Facts & Figures

  • 5kSeating capacity of existing indoor arena

  • 8−12kCapacity of new indoor arena

  • $65mConstruction budget

Live music performance is part of Wellington’s DNA, and the region has a wide range of venues. But it has no indoor venue capable of seating more than 5000 people.

Silhouettes at a rock concert

As a result, the region misses out on international artists who play in other cities such as Auckland and Christchurch.

This comes as an economic cost to the city, because we are missing out on rock concerts and other music events that can attract large numbers of people to the city. It also has social and cultural costs – the city is less lively and vibrant than it otherwise might be, and its reputation as a centre for arts and culture is compromised.

Wellington City Council is progressing work to scope the possibility of developing a 8,000–12,000 seat indoor arena in the central city.

This would be a large investment, with significant payback for the region,. It would allow the region to attract many more live music, comedy and other performances, bringing in visitors and boosting the economy, as well as increasing entertainment options available to residents.

The project would likely be developed in partnership.


  • More international music, comedy and other acts.
  • More visitors to Wellington – bringing jobs and growth.
  • A more vibrant city.


  • At this stage the Council is exploring the feasibility of this project and undertaking a review of venues across the city. If a decision is made to proceed, a business case will be developed and partnership funding options explored.
  • It is proposed that funding of the Council’s contribution to this initiative be split between the Downtown Targeted Rate (40 percent) and general ratepayers (60 percent).
  • Budgeted construction cost of $65 million.
  • Construction from 2020/21 to 2022/23.

What you think

75% Feedback received that supports our overall plan

51 Number of times people have told us what they think about this idea

73% Feedback received that supports this idea

#11 Out of 28 ideas based on amount of feedback received.

Who would benefit most?

30% Local residents
25% Local businesses
23% Visitors to Wellington
15% Future generations
7% NZ as a whole
  • Local residents
  • Local businesses
  • Visitors to Wellington
  • NZ as a whole
  • Future generations
  • Other

How should we prioritise it?

31% Quite high
29% High
16% Neutral
14% Quite low
10% Low
  • Quite low
  • Low
  • Neutral
  • Quite high
  • High
  • Selwyn, Owhiro Bay

    Until Wellington has a venue to accommodate 11,000+ then the international acts will bypass us. The promoters simply need that size of audience to be financially viable. It would probably help the NZ case for more acts to go through the country as well.
    It needs to connect to the railway station, bus terminal and the apartment (pedestrian) sector.
    Ideally it connects to the music precinct

    The TSB Arena is the worst experience imaginable. Trash it!

  • Hubertus, Island Bay

    I don't think we need what other cities in NZ have. Wellington is unique with it very compact and small urban center. A lot of small venues for quality performances are cultural more sustainable for Wellington and will be a future trend anyway.... The cultural investment can be made more attractive to the ratepayer if you secure special deals for low income Wellingtonians ....

  • Anne, Wadestown

    This is a small city as the concert market goes. I'd hate to see another large structure go up that is actually under-utilised and becomes a drain on the city.

  • Maree, Mount Victoria

    John Denver tribute acts. It's an embarrassment. Time to get some living acts at the very least back to Wellington. An arena should be priority number 1.

  • Janet, Melrose

    This should be about us, the ratepayers. We want more song and dance to help us get over the weather we get. We would rather lean into the music than the wind. Build it now!

  • Anonymous, Island Bay

    I don't think we need it - we have venues and we could improve these to attract entertainers to the area!! Don't waste ratepayers money!!!

  • Em, Newtown

    This is great! This opens doors for more people to use the capital.

  • Richard, Island Bay

    Arenas are typically loss making ventures. A thorough economic analysis of the costs to Wellington should be enough to convince the council not to enter into any agreement to fund the building of one.