A fascinating look into both sides of the debate over the soon-to-be built Cycling Centre of Excellence in the Waikato has just aired on TV3, including a few thoughts from yours truly. It is well worth a look, as it encapsulates just how polarising these developments can be within communities. The Waikato Regional Council voted recently to contribute some $6m into the development of the facility. Interestingly, one of the features of the process has been the role of economic impact analysis. A study was commissioned by the Home of Cycling Trust and projected an annual $11.5m economic impact as a result of the facility. The Waikato Regional Council commissioned a further study, which projected an annual impact of $4.9m, less than 50% of the original projection.
It is also worth pointing out that the Hamilton City Council declined to contribute to the facility, preferring to leave the decision to the Regional Council. Perhaps the recent experiences with the Hamilton V8 Race have resulted in a more cautious approach to these type of investments.