The most likely spot for the 12,000-seat arena is at Kings Wharf on the waterfront, said Wellington mayor Justin Lester.
The arena has been identified as crucial if the capital wants to attract large-scale national and international acts.
Five potential sites were put forward to the Greater Wellington regional strategy committee, including three on CentrePort land.
“The Kings Wharf option has been identified as clearly the best location,” said Lester. The project has in-principle support from the region’s mayors, he added. “The market is there in Wellington but we don’t have the offering.”
A released in April looked at the constraints of the existing 6,000-seat TSB Arena. It also examined trends in arena development, the competitive landscape and the health of the live entertainment and large event industry.
It estimated the larger events a 12,000-seat indoor arena could attract could be worth about NZ$26m in GDP to the region per year.
“Bigger acts could make New Zealand a destination by performing at bigger venues in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, rather than tacking us on to the end of an Australian tour,” said Lester. He added: “The next step will be working with our partners on the land and looking at the precinct development options. The design concept that we saw today in the presentation look great and we are excited about this opportunity.”
The planning work would be done in parallel with CentrePort’s work on a potential new multi-use ferry terminal.