Ticket sales for events at SkyCity Convention Centre could be seriously impacted as a fire at the Auckland under-construction venue continues to smoulder 48 hours after thousands were evacuated from the area.
The fire has forced the closure and evacuation of SkyCity Entertainment Group’s entire complex, including hotels, casinos and restaurants, as well as hundreds of people in neighbouring apartments and flats.
The convention centre, which was scheduled to be complete by August 2020, was set to be the major venue for the 2021 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.
Auckland’s recently re-elected mayor, Phil Goff, said the fire damage meant the construction project by Fletcher Building Ltd, which is valued at NZ$703m ($452m/£331m/€383m) and is the largest under way in New Zealand, could now add more than an extra year to complete.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that despite the setback, it would still host the APEC meetings as it has in the past.
“APEC in 2021 will still be held in Auckland… there is no question there,” she told reporters, according to Reuters news agency, adding that the only question was in which facility it would be held.
Emergency services said no one had been hurt in the fire.