Auckland’s seemingly ever ongoing stadium debate is about to kick off again with the council putting out a Request for Expressions of Interest for what they call “Auckland Main Stadium”. This isn’t actually about building something but is part of efforts of a council working group to narrow down the options, including some of the many proposals that have been suggested over the years.


Given what’s been suggested here in the past, and overseas, getting a major stadium at “no or little cost to ratepayers” seems, frankly, fanciful.

There have been plenty of stadium proposals over the years and the Herald highlighted just some of the most recent ones.

In May the Eden Park Trust released its “Eden Park 2.0″ uncosted plan to transform the stadium into a 60,000-capacity sport and entertainment precinct.

The proposal includes three new grandstands, a retractable roof and a pedestrian promenade that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars if not more than $1 billion.

Five years ago, a private consortium proposed a 70,000-seat, fully enclosed stadium sunk into the Waitemata Harbour with a floating roof above sea level costing about $2b.

Former Mayor Phil Goff discussed plans for a downtown stadium in 2018 with a rectangular football stadium for 25,000 spectators for Super Rugby Pacific and NRL matches, with a curtain on the top stands removed for All Blacks tests and other big events, to seat up to 55,000 spectators.

The plan for another Eden Park upgrade.

Phil Goff did more than just discuss plans, he commissioned a $1 million pre-feasibility report which identified six potential locations with the frontrunner understood to be a stadium over the railway land at Quay Park – land that is owned by Ngati Whatua Ōrākei.

How a stadium could fit on the railway land at Quay Park

The idea of a waterfront stadium has long been one of the prime suggestions if a new stadium were to be built. However, a recent presentation by Eke Panuku on the vision for redevelopment of the port land ruled it out, saying:

  • A new fit-for-purpose stadium in the city centre could host multiple sporting codes, concerts and major events.
  • Previous assessments have identified benefits in having a stadium in downtown Auckland, and these remain valid, these are:
    • Proximity to public transport
    • Complementary services such as accommodation, bars, restaurants, retail and informal recreation spaces
    • Better spectator experience, and wider benefits to the city and its economy
    • Less noise, lighting, security, traffic and parking impacts on residents
    • Likely to get more use than a suburban stadium
    • Would be a catalyst for genuine economic value creation
    • A key question for this work is – is the port site suitable?… and is a stadium the best use for the port site?

And they answer that with:

A city centre stadium would provide many benefits to the city.

But in order to realise these benefits, it needs to be based in the best location – not all city centre locations are equal.

We have concluded that none of the sites within port land are suitable.

Personally I don’t think a new stadium is a priority for Auckland. We’ve got a lot more important things, that we need to be spending ratepayer and taxpayer money and/or energy on. And even if we did have the money for one, stadiums are not necessarily good use of valuable inner city space.

Though as I highlighted back in 2018, perhaps one “left-field” idea could be a stadium over the central motorway junction which would help heal the motorway scar and reconnect both sides of the motorway, be close to Karangahape Rd and amenities it provides like bars for pre/post event functions, not to mention access to the under construction Karanga-a-Hape City Rail Link station and potentally light rail too.

Given the stadium would be over spaghetti junction, perhaps it could be called the Spaghetti Bowl

Given what we’ve seen in the past, I’ll be surprised if this working group actually come up with any viable option.

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  1. The Lion Nathan site in Grafton was a bit of a missed opportunity, in retrospect. As was old Carlaw Park, given the plans for the Grafton Gulley that have emerged.

    1. That site (Grafton) is barely more than half as wide as the existing Eden Park Stadium. Might have to invest into some very thin spectators alongside the field, unless you want to cantilever the seats over Khyber Pass and the Rail line… 🙂

      1. Instead it houses thousands of people and many businesses walking distance from the uni and city. Hard to see how anyone could argue the current use is less optimal than a stadium that gets used a couple dozen times a year, mostly far under capacity.

  2. I thought the council had no money?
    Wasting the most valuable land in NZ on a stadium would be a terrible outcome, so that Spaghetti Junction idea is brilliant. Bowl down Eden Park and build high density housing there instead.
    Or what about this completely outrageous option: Build surface level Light Rail past Eden Park and leave Eden Park as it is which is perfectly sufficient for the foreseeable future. Upgrade it later if required. Funny enough I seem to remember voting for that Light Rail line about 6 years ago…

    1. Perhaps they could just tell the teams that play in Auckland to bugger off to another city and bludge off the ratepayers there.

  3. How about a grand project – reclaim Mangere inlet (which is heavily polluted and much use for anthing anymore) east of the Mangere bridge, and use the money from selling the land to at least partially fund a new stadium built there. A stadium located there – either next to the main railway line (across from the old freezing works) or at the bottom of Onehunga mall, for example – could replace Mt Smart, it would have excellent rail connections, road links to SH20 and SH1, would create huge amounts of really valuable land for commercial and residential use and would be a real shot in the arm for Onehunga – it would become the new Kingsland for pre-game tipples.

    1. “How about a grand project – reclaim Mangere inlet (which is heavily polluted and much use for anthing anymore) east of the Mangere bridge, and use the money from selling the land”

      So basically, ignore all the cultural ownership and importance of these areas for Maori, and say “hey, we destroyed it, its poisoned anyway, now we get to sell it for more bucks. Also, pay no heed to the a) perpetual contamination emissions you’d be sitting on, or b) the enormous rehabilitation costs”

      Sorry, I’m not always against reclamation, but this is just such a colonialist attitude it makes me bang my head against the wall.

      1. Also, those harbours are going to be several meters deeper in water come 50 years from now. There’s a reason the Mangere Inlet was the start of a portage across the isthmus – the land around it is flat, and of course the inlet by definition is (tidal) sea level. You going to truck in a couple million trucks of dirt in to raise the land?

        How about we do a grand project and actually look at climate change?

        1. “God made the earth, but the Dutch made Holland”. I thought everyone here worshipped the Dutch, what with their cycleways and perfect teeth and all.

      2. Look, that inlet is toast. Years of run-off from industrial use means restoring it is basically impossible. Sure, we shouldn’t have wrecked it in the first place but well, it is. So let’s try and do something useful with what is now basically a polluted eyesore. Or we could just sit around the mangrove swamp lamenting Gaia while holding hands and singing kumbaya.

      3. Wasn’t someone on this blog advocating the use of Mangere harbour for the site of the Auckland Port? Despite the manifest lack of suitability ?

        1. Not the mangere inlet, but people were talking about a port on the Manukau harbour south of the airport.

    2. Been advocating that for a while now. It’s roughly twice the size of Hobsonville Point but is located on good transportation routes. Raul could go through and on to the airport. Would generate huge revenue and provide desperately needed land in an ideal location. Iwi could be gifted a chunk of it to do as they please with. A canal could even be built to still have some water access.
      In terms of fill, there’s full from all over the city looking for a home, and if LR is built and tunneled that spoil will also be looking for a home.

  4. ” It is expected that options presented could be at no cost to ratepayers, ”
    This pretty much narrows the options to none…
    If Stadia were independently profitable there would be multiple developers banging down doors up and down the country…..

    1. I imagine the proposal will be something like

      1) Councils gifts private enterprise a large chunk of prime waterfront land
      2) Council gifts private enterprise a couple of underused stadiums like North Harbour
      3) Rugby/Cricket strong-armed into giving private enterprise Eden park
      4) Council enters into contracts that it will not allow competing stadiums to be built granting private enterprise a monopoly on events.
      5) Private Enterprise builds new waterfront stadium, maintains ownership and manages to run it for a profit given lack of competition.
      6) Private Enterprise makes most of it’s profit from redeveloping gifted stadiums into residential / commercial purposes.

      This will be in perfect alignment with a future Luxon governments priority to privatise profits and socialise losses.

      1. Do all this but make it Mt Smart that they should revitalise & develop.
        This is a good concert location with most of the surrounds being industrial/commercial.

      1. Nick Mowbray is certainly the scum of the earth; although more recent reporting suggests that his bid has been sidelined by one involving Marc Mitchell from the Breakers. No word whether that bid is also pushing for a new stadium (although the question of where the Auckland A-League team will play is a vital one either way)

    1. If there’s billionaires wanting a stadium, they can spend their billions on it.

      But that’s never how it works out. Taxpayers subsidising the rich is one of the oldest games in town. Lots of spectators, but only a few beneficiaries.

      1. I would have thought nice stadia fall into the “third spaces” category? If they do, then the idea they should necessarily be economically self sustaining is about as silly as saying public transport needs to make a profit or telling your wife you want a flash boat because fish is really, really expensive and it’ll pay for itself.

        Tons of people like sport, and if people want a swish stadium with an “ohhh-ahhh look, it opens and shuts!” roof and with all sorts of delicious street food options to watch sport in then fund it as something people want to make life that little bit more fun, rather than creating all sorts of spurious arguments about the economic return.

        1. From my understanding, third places should be easily accessible at no or low cost and frequently visited and allow people to easily get in contact with other people. A stadium with events every two weeks that only interest me half of the time and then requires a somewhat pricy ticket and draws massive crowds is hardly a “third place”, is it?

          I don’t have much experience with the stadia in Auckland but it seems like half the comments here say that some are too small to host anything nice and others say that Eden Park is way too big. I feel like the solution is already there?

  5. The council are in a dilemma though,with the existing stadia,they are currently hoovering up vast amounts of ratepayer cash. The Blues don’t like Eden Park,it costs too much for them to play there,NZ cricket rejected it as well,probably,only enticed back by ratepayer cash. The do nothing approach is still expensive,but it hardly seems like priority,right now.
    Note to Christchurch City Council,ditch the seat expansion idea,build your stadium at 25,000 seats.

  6. We have several stadia already (albeit none perfect). Now is the time to “mend and make do”, i.e. use what we have to the extent that we can. Even calling for the EOIs is a waste of resources that we simply do not have. If we think about Auckland in terms of Maslow’s hierarchy, this is not even on the page as we are nowhere near meeting more basic needs.

  7. I still don’t understand what is wrong with eden park?

    The point is to go to place where I can sit and watch a game, there was always plenty of seating, an excess perhaps. PT access there is fine. It is perfectly acceptable.

    If the biggest problem is the local NIMBY brigade like Helen Clark restricting usage, a replacement would be so expensive, you’d have to think at least a billion, probably 2 billion, that’s nationally significant expenditure. Getting an enablement act through parliament would be better and you’d have to think easier than that kind of spend.

    1. Needs lots of ratepayer subsidies to operate and parts of it will soon need multi-100m dollar upgrades, for which they have their hand out to central government.

      All for a privately-owned stadium.

      1. Those costs will apply to any stadium, if you’re looking for the path of least resistance financially then Eden Park is almost certainly the best option.

      2. Why exactly does it *need* upgrades?

        All I see the eden park trust is going their usual shtick, rent-seeking and looking for a legacy project renewal. Looking to create an absolutely massive venue with all the bells and whistles when they can barely fill the current one a couple times a year. But none of that is a reason to light hundreds of million on fire.

        Give it a lick of paint and some new seats or something if they must feel the new shiney.

        1. God I remember the state of it before the ASB stand, yet it was still useable then.
          The only real issue is that it isn’t big enough to be a proper cricket ground. But the small size actually makes for some very interesting games.

        2. If it were to be demolished/recycled for high density housing etc there would be a lot of resistance from the historical rugby aspect of it. I propose a special museum perhaps in a pub or cafe be made on the site it covered. A special “rugby, racing and beer” shrine for all to enjoy.

        3. If it were to be demolished/recycled for high density housing there would be a lot of opposition from Helen Clark

          Early 2000’s while being the PM opposing a boarding hostel and trying to prevent any further building in the area: “At three storeys in height, this building is of an entirely inappropriate scale for this neighbourhood, which consists largely of villas from the early 20th century and some few bungalows of a later period”

      3. That sounds like a problem of too much supply and not enough demand. Close all the other council subsidised stadium and Eden Park will get more events and not have to charge so much.

        1. Eden park has loads of noise restrictions. It is one of the most useless stadiums in the world because of it. It would be better off being turned into housing and the money from that used invested elsewhere.

          There are many good stadiums around the world built entirely with private cash without govt/council input. Time NZ started to do what’s normal internationally: sell stadiums off and let private enterprise take care of them.

      1. While I agree Eden Park is too big for many events it has been full a number of times in the last 2 – 3 years. Unless we can afford to have different sized stadiums for different games it is something we have to accept.

        1. Its a design issue. Plenty of stadiums overseas have a lower tier right up against the field and very steep, and they limit tickets to just that section for smaller events. Atmosphere is no problem.

  8. Eden Park is great, it already has good transport links and eventually even better. If they dropped the silly character overlay and allowed densification around it you would get the best of both worlds for all those saying bowl it and build apartments. Sell Mount Smart, sell North Harbour, test cricket to Western Springs, easy.

  9. We have Eden Park and “Spark” Arena. Both are utilised for sports and music events, both have excellent access from train stations.

    How many years is the Sky City Convention Centre overdue?

    Does the city need another convention centre?

    That is a private issue so not on council, but this is further consultation wasting our time; time that we need to be thinking carefully about how to mitigate climate change.

    A new stadium will not do this.

  10. For location, expand Penrose. It is right smack bang in the middle of the wider region. Good road and rail links. Will eventually be linked to the shore and NW by RTN. No Nimbys. No space or noise constraints.

    A master plan could include large housing intesnfication, apartments as well as shops, bars, restaurants. Maybe other sport facilities to produce a sporting precinct like Melbourne.

    You can walk from the bars of Onehunga, perhaps even Ellerslie with the right access. Its less than 20m from Britomart, every ten minutes. It would be a better location than Stade De France, Twickenham, Stadium Australia….don’t let them fool you, downtown stadiums being built now are the exception, not the rule. Leave the waterfront for people, grass and trees, as well as more inclusive architecture.

    Cost? PPP. I understand Spark Areana is halfway through its ownership model, and the new Optus Stadium in Perth is PPP too.

    The only thing to be determined – is it a single stadium with the flexibility to intimately hold smaller events (e.g. 2-tiered bowl, close to the field, steep stands, but only the lower used for domestic purposes)? or with another smaller, simpler venue built nearby, which holds just 25k. I prefer the former.

    1. But crucially, no more ratepayer and taxpayer money for the the private Trust (read Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby) unless they hand over the keys.

    2. Yes I agree that Mt Smart could be upgraded/expanded. Mt Eden could be redeveloped into mixed use housing & commercial.
      Bigger more ambitious plan could include underground or perhaps just closer train station.

      1. Mt Smart is miles away. Eden Park is relatively central and already on a train line. You’re going to spend a lot of money making Mt Smart do what Eden Park already does, but in a far less accessible location for a big chunk of the city.

        If anything is begging for redevelopment, it’s NHS.

  11. Close one or more other stadiums. Consolidate at Eden Park and let the private trust board figure out its own funding problems from there. Move on to the next actual problem facing this city.

  12. As far as the rest of the country goes, we think that Eden Park is just fine as is, and is already big enough, and we do not need to spend any more money on this, ever. Auckland already has other stadiums including North Harbour, South Auckland, Mount Smart – that’s quite enough. No more stadia !!

  13. Lets upgrade our present Mt Eden Stadium Stop wasting tax payer money on consultation and moving it to Wynyard Quarter Taxpayers have to bear all increased rates for your disastrous mistakes

  14. The Stadium situation for Auckland really has no good solution. Even if you had a blank state and some space then it would be hard to decide what to build.

    There needs to be a ~15,000 seat football stadium for Blues, NPC, Warriors and any future Soccer team. Plus random other football events and some concerts etc. Should fill up weekly (or perhaps even more often).

    But you need something bigger for All Blacks and occasional Internationals. More like 50-60,0000. But this size is only need a couple of times per year and is poor atmosphere for smaller matches. Hundreds of millions for a couple of games/year will never make any sort of business sense.

    Then you also need some sort of cricket ground. But the number of cricket matches with large crowds is even fewer than rugby. But there are some.

    Of course we don’t have a blank slate and several existing venues do exist, all losing money but favored for various reasons.

    One option might be to just build the 15,000 seat football stadium and try put all except the big matches there. The big matches and cricket can stay at Eden Park which kicks that can down the road a few years. Mt Smart and North Harbour can be closed.

    1. North Harbour Stadium itself was only half finished when Built .
      And Eden Park back in the 1950’s when it held the Commonwealth Games was a lot bigger and over the year with all the alterations and upgrades has got smaller as those in charge want spectators to get closer to the action , I can remember the days when they use to put in temporary scaffolding for setting and when that was removed cricket had a large field of play .

    2. 40k is needed. No more, no less. Auckland is not London.

      Kiwis are super fickle sporting fans. Dreaming if you think in 30 years time rugby will still bring in 60k. NZs demographic is changing and most new kiwis dig football and cricket a lot more then most of the minority sports we play.

      1. I would say 50k. A better stadium with better facilities will get more patrons. And without the restrictions EP has, concerts could easily outnumber big rugby matches.

        1. I doubt we will see a RWC (Mens) on our shores again.

          Its already locked in for Aus (2027) and the US (2031) after which time it will head back to Europe and then would likely see a return to SA (after almost half a century) and another developing market (Italy, Argentina).

          By that stage it will have outgrown NZ.

          But we could build 50k with the ability to go temporarily expand to 60k, to allow for FIFA World Cup quarter finals (joint bid with AU, Asia)

  15. just nuts – we are in a climate emergency and will be breaking through 1.5 degrees by 2030 +/-2 years even if we globally stop emitting today. There is no money or carbon budget for a new silly stadium- consider the carbon costs of building it and that there is currently no way to cancel this. Plus 50,000+ people travelling from all over for various events – sports and events emit heaps of carbon. Could we have some adults discuss how a. we decarbonise 50% by 2030 as per agreed international climate science, ipcc, akl council, NZ govt etc. Until we have credible plans, polices, funidng and a programme doing this with actions then forget this stadium palaver. Insane.

    1. And you look at all these cities around the World that have build large oversize stadiums that were built for big events and then used for a few weeks and what has happen to them since , the pigeons , spiders and other creepy crawlies have moved in and found a new home . And to use them for anything else millions would have to spent on them for other things .

      1. I went to the place where they staged the Olympics in Greece a couple of decades back – it’s a wasteland of squandered Euro millions. All the facilities are there, derelict, weeds growing out of the plazas, badly integrated into the existing city, and yet the swimming pools were still operating, blue waters glistening and gushing, but protected by security guards, so that no one could use them. Bizarre

      2. Large stadia etc only work if you’ve got a good long-term plan for *after* the event. London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has succeeded because many of the venues were either temporary, or designed to be made smaller after the 2012 Games had finished. Not many other Olympics Games are as meticulous with their legacy.

  16. Completely redevelop Mt Smart for rugby/football and concerts only (no cricket). Sell Eden park and N Shore to help fund. Redevelop western springs for cricket.

    Eden park could be used whilst Mt Smart is redeveloped but Penrose is more central to the greater area is ripe for redevelopment and has better transport links.

    1. Penrose is more central and has better transport links than the stadium across the road from the train station on the Western Line and nearer to the city centre? When did this happen?

      I don’t get why dropping Mt Smart is off limits. It’s not as close to a train line as Eden Park is, and the station and Kingsland is far better than Penrose. There’s no entertainment options nearby so less benefit to the rest of the business community. Yes, it’s the Warriors home ground, but Eden Park has a bit of that on its side too.

      The real question is “Do the Eden Park redevelopment plans let the facility host events cheaper for smaller crowds?” which big stadiums struggle with. If they do then that sets the bar for whether Mt Smart is worth developing, given all the other shortcomings with the area compared to Eden Park.

      As for Cricket, I don’t think we’ve quite figured out how that could work. Most proposals are for a small ground and it would great to have a test venue in Auckland, but you’d want to host a major test (i.e. Australia) in a stadium with more capacity than what’s proposed. A small ground is fine for national level and possibly T20s, but decent ODIs will still need the kind of capacity Eden Park offers. No one was complaining about the ground size in the South Africa game at CWC2015.

      1. The big stadium just needs retractable seating for the first few rows, to create an oval. You can see this planned for EP 2.0, watch the video

      2. Most of your issues with Penrose can be dealt with through a master plan, upgrade and regeneration. Its only a few mins longer to from Britomart to Penrose than it is to Kingsland. Penrose is just as far from some places as Eden park is.

        Eden Park has restrictions on use (just 6 concerts a year) and limitations on how much hirers can advertise, hence they are going elsewhere. Auckland Cricket have indicated they want to move. Auckland Rugby are taking NPC games to club grounds.

        Let’s just stop the ratepayer subsidies and see how long EP lasts. I give it a year. Let someone enter into a PPP and build a new sporting and entertainment precinct in Penrose.

        And sell Albany, let some developers develop a real town center, and use the money to develop Western Springs into a cricket ground and upgrade Onewa for the North Shore.

      3. The big problem with Penrose is the toffs think anything south of Greenlane is the third world and they don’t want to venture that far and anyway, it’s hard to get there in your SUV from the North Shore.

      4. Yes Eden Park has sound or concert limits being in a residential area so Mt Smart has that advantage. Land value much greater for housing, mixed use development at Eden Park.
        We could make an awesome museum in it’s place.

  17. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Build a floating stadium that can be towed around the coast by tug and moored at any city with a wharf and sheltered waters. A single floating stadium could provide for the needs of all of our coastal cities just by scheduling it to be wherever the matches are (or scheduling the matches to be wherever the stadium is). When a city has done with it, pull up the anchor and tow it away somewhere else. Its utilisation would be far better than the few hours per month that most land-based stadia achieve.

    1. Love it, even if it isn’t towed to other cities, just towing it away between events so we don’t have this massive dead space in the city for 99% of the time when there isn’t a major event on.

  18. So the rest of the world moves on and we have become a city of know it all, closed minded, nimby, whining, cost-cutting, short sighted bureaucratic woke crybaby’s.

    Lets carry on this way and you will get you want eventually – a bland city of nothing as people move out of Auckland to better managed cities with facilities and events they can enjoy. (Which they are already doing)

    1. “woke”

      Opinion discarded.

      Plenty of sporting and cultural activities are happening and will continue to happen in Auckland nevertheless, and people have a right to be skeptical about blowing $2 billion on a new stadium when there’s not even a basic stadium strategy in place.

      If you trust the stadium proposal wallet inspectors that’s your business but leave my rates money out of it thanks

    2. Lol, go touch grass, get outside.

      People don’t move out of cities because they don’t have a gold plated mega stadium instead of existing serviceable stadia. They leave because of crippling housing costs, better job and recreation opportunities elsewhere, and to a lesser extent infrastructure deficits that impact quality of life.

      Vast majority of the population of the city will never go to an event in mega stadium.

    3. Why not have sports facilities as temporary as much of our housing stock?

      If the events requiring this scale of structure are so few and far between, you could roll out prefab stands assembled to the required scale every so often.

      Or have the 25,000 seater as the default layout and reconfigure it when necessary.

      The stand storage could be on site and function as part of the stadium facility when emptied.

      Avondale Racecourse is a bigger site than Mount Eden, which could in turn be flogged as prime high density residential development land.

      1. Leave Avondale Racecourse as it is as one of the few large areas out West which can soak up all the Ran water in the area , if you cover it with Housing , concrete and Tarmac where will the water go ? . As all the piping in the area will have to be enlarged to handle all these 1 in 100 year storms we seem to be having every 6 months and the same goes for golf courses leave them as they are Also .

        1. Quite right, the current Eden Park site is where you want the housing, Avondale is too plashy for that.

          The idea was temporary structure that packs away between mega-events.

          Most of the year the racecourse would remain almost as it is now.

  19. A few points that based on the above, some people aren’t clear on:

    Eden Park is controlled by a Trust. You can’t sell it for cash and you can’t knock it down for housing. Only the Trust can do that.

    It survives by operational subsidies (AC gave them $125,000 last year) and about 5yrs ago, they bailed them out to the tune of $50m for loans they could not pay back.

    Those subsidies will need to increase as their tenants go elsewhere. Last year they asked for an additional $120,000 PER WEEK. They are now asking for additional central and local subsidies to upgrade again.

    Those subsidies allow EP to compete with council-owned facilities like Mount Smart. Despite this, Mt Smart serves easily more punters each year than EP.

    EP is a financial failure because of a sub-optimal offering in a sub-optimal location. We can’t keep tipping money down someone elses hole.

    Spark Areana was built under a PPP and is the busiest venue in NZ. Perth and Singapore and Bordeaux (amongst others) have gone that way. A consortium bid for the same arrangement for Christchurch.

    We need to talk about life after EP. Put it out of its misery.

  20. In a nutshell, Auckland four main stadiums Eden Park, North Harbour Stadium, Mount Smart Stadium and Western Springs needs practical solutions going forward.

    Only way we keep four stadiums in Auckland is by relocating one of the ’current venues’. Plans for Eden Park Upgrade should definitely go ahead due to ‘National Stadium of Aotearoa’ from Cricket and Rugby Union mainly (mostly rugby) and big Concerts. It holds a lot of meaning and history to this country. Eden Park should remain a Cricket, Rugby Union and Concert venue for the time being, but in-future will indefinitely be a need for a new Cricket venue in Auckland due to more Rugby Union events at Eden Park in-future, likes of future ‘World Rugby Club Competition & Inter-Pacific competition with Australia and Japan (higher competition than Super Rugby)’. Not only should it stay as the National Stadium of Aotearoa’ due to its ever significance to spectators. Eden Park is more established to be known as a rectangular football field venue over oval venue, makes sense to move cricket out!

    Eden Park has deep/meaningful history over the years for mostly Rugby Union over Cricket and Eden Park should be known more for being Football venue rather than cricket venue due to field size and not exciting venue for Cricket. Venue for Cricket should moved to Western Springs, Silo Park or Victoria Park since it more of a real New Zealand Cricket venue, feel, grassy green to sit and watch, with option to watch on a stand.

    What Auckland needs is a new 30,000 seated stadium right at the waterfront without 2nd Mayor of Auckland’s idea of having covering-up to make the stadium full-capacity 50,000 seated stadium like with BC Place in Vancouver, should be 30,000 seated stadium and keep it that way so it doesn’t burn down council costs! If placed at the Waterfront, would be accessible to all spectators inside and outside since right next to transport hub Britomart and Lower Albert buses. Waterfront stadium doesn’t need to be landmark of Auckland, just needs to be venue for all spectators to be able access inside venue or outside. A Waterfront stadium would make it better than having outside waterfront since you can make a fan base right outside the waterfront due to location and land space.

    Only way we can keep four stadiums in Auckland is by relocating one of the ’current venues’. The Mayor of Auckland should definitely go-ahead bulldozing North Harbour Stadium due to lots of contributing factors attendance going to events there, community events, commercial events and only one tenant (North Harbour Rugby Union) use for 3 months each year, not viable, not good value for money, when a stadium like that should be used 9 months in any given year! Not to mention, poor attendance records fixture North Harbour Rugby games. Location of the stadium isn’t really practical since having to take extra bus from Albany Station and now you can’t really locate the stadium by ‘spotting’ as use too. North Harbour Rugby Union should move back to Onewa Domain where they were once playing back in the 1990’s.

    The solution for fixing Mount Smart Stadium issue, is to relocate by 2040, not in present time! The current tenants Rugby Union (Moana Pasifika) and Rugby League Auckland Warriors are both valuable to the fan base, taking away the teams would devastate the fans. By 2040 should be looking to relocating a new stadium in either Manukau City or the Mangere-Interlet land since it’s more ideal places for their fan-base due accessibility by public transport.

    Aucklands needs two stadiums located in Central Auckland, one small scale sized stadium (Waterfront stadium/30,000 seated ) and one big sized stadium (Eden Park/70,000). Auckland a new 30,000 seated stadium right at the Waterfront, for Football (soccer) future A-League team, some Rugby League (Auckland Warriors), Rugby Union(All Blacks lower tier matches) and Eden Park but expand north, east and west stands, with capacity 70,000 seats, hosting rugby (Auckland Rugby Union/Blues Rugby/All Blacks matches), Cricket(Auckland Cricket/Blackcaps) concerts, national teams in Football(Soccer) and Rugby League. Get North Harbour Stadium bulldozed due to not enough sport events and only one tenant which uses the stadium 3 months a year with less than 5-6 regular matches. Relocate Cricket to Western Springs, Silo Park or Victoria Park. The Mayor of Auckland really needs to fix the stadium issue during his term, otherwise no practical change will advance!

        1. Auckland Waterfront does need a stadium! A 30,000 seated stadium would be very valuable investment to all Aucklander’s since it would be able to able to cater smaller scale events from sports & cultural events, whereas Eden Park is not a viable option at all. Not only that, in the long term term enable to build more stadiums across Auckland in future due to popularity of particular sport franchise who’s successfully doing well or in-need to expand another market to build more rivalry, meaningful matches and something to look forward too.

        2. No, it doesn’t. Why would we spend huge amounts of money on an engineering exercise that takes out a huge amount of the Port land that we’ve been waiting decades for, for a stadium with small capacity than our national stadium, which could be overhauled for much less?

          A law change could fix the issues with Eden Park and the neighbours, overnight. But this obsession with a waterfront stadium that doesn’t actually hit the brief and leaves us with no way of attracting major events needs to stay in the 2000s era of stupid mega-projects and die quietly.

        3. Eden Park is not the answer. It’s not sustainable.

          AC puts in millions in subsidies a year with one hand, and then limits its usage with the other. And those subsidies allow EP not only to survive, but to compete against council owned venues like Mt Smart and Western Springs. Its madness.

        4. I agree that the waterfront is not necessary for any stadium, even a smaller one. And EP 2.0 is actually a very, very good design with the roof, the symmetry of the stands and the retractable seats for oval-events. Its a great looking venue that would be fit for purpose.

          But its ownership structure is completely unacceptable for central and local subsidies and you gloss over the issues of its location.

        5. I don’t think it really matters who owns Eden Park, someone else owns all of our buses as well and it’s not as though it’s owned by a private company.

          Transport wise it’s in the best location of any of our stadiums and planning rules are always changeable. A few years ago it was impossible to have concerts at Eden Park, now they can have six a year.

        6. Do we subsidise the bus companies to run the buses for us (genuine question)?

          Do we subsidise companies to run ferries on routes the council also runs ferries (another, genuine question)?

          “Transport wise it’s in the best location of any of our stadiums”. For who? I would debate that strongly compared to Penrose. The only advantage it as is that it’s a 5min v 10min walk from the station. Its practically the same distance (time) from Britomart. Penrose is bordered by two stations not one and is directly accessible via two rail lines. Its far easier for East Auckland and just as easy for a lot of the outer west not on the rail line. It has just as easy, if not better, motorway access….

          The only reason I can sense about why EP is preferred, is because we have always been there and people can’t broaden their horizons a bit.

        7. The walk mainly, it’s about 300m from Kingsland to Eden Park vs about 1.1km from Penrose to Mt Smart.

          The other advantage Eden Park has is about half of the stands for Eden Park 2.0 are already in place, the cost of upgrading would be a lot less than putting something similar on the Mt Smart site.

          The competition aspect is a red herring, both sites require investment and neither will likely generate sufficient return to their owner. It’s about minimising the amount of money sunk into them, Eden Park is the path of least resistance in that context.

        8. Yes I guess you have some good points Jezza, also consider that after CRL opens it will only be about 10 mins to Kingsland from Te Waihorotiu station.

  21. Re- “Kiwis are super fickle sporting fans. ” [Martin]; In response to SimonL:
    Hummm… for those still living under a rock….for communities living with massive housing and property damage due to flooding, huge cost of living increases where even the mortgage belts are struggling to pay increased interest rates and council rate bills, and the residential rental community routinely fronting up at food-banks to afford rent….. Why would you assume that a ‘responsible budgetary decision’ would be to spend what could amount to several hundred dollars of ‘discretionary’ household funds on a ticket to a sports match at a major stadium; even if it were considered a ‘major international league’ match, or a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to watch a international superstar’s performance entertain? Furthermore, while the council debates on how much they have to build and maintain road and utilities infrastructure, traffic management, and public transport networks, all of which are often described in debate rhetoric as chronically ‘unaffordable’; in other words; when do you think you will you see food-banks including a season ticket to the local stadium sports seasons in their food parcels……. This couldn’t possibly be a reason for Kiwi sporting fans being “super fickle” could it? I wonder…Yes… go on ignore this post as ‘irrelevant’ or ‘off topic’ if you must however, it doesn’t make this any less of a reality. Citizens, including NZers, who are being economically bled to death do not fill stadiums unless they are being repuropsed as a civil defense assembly point….

    1. ?

      I don’t think one thing mentioned above stops us going.

      Most kiwis just support winning teams and are more at home in front of the box then enjoying the great atmosphere of live sport or music etc. As someone who’s lived outside of NZ for a while now and watched in person stadium events on every continent (including poor nations such as Bolivia, Ethiopia, and Cambodia) I’ve seen just how fickle we are.

      1. Re – “Auckland Waterfront does need a stadium! A 30,000 seated stadium would be very valuable investment to all Aucklander’s since it would be able to able to cater smaller scale events from sports & cultural events,[etc]
        Local stadiums might do it for communities. NZ has a rich array of artists, performers and sports teams which would attract local followings. Even international stars have visited and performed in smaller centers and even vineyard venues. Huge projects not only cost a lot and also cost a lot for performers and teams to hire. This means that they also cost too much for local performers and sports to hold events there too, so unless there is a mega event, they lie idle, and when they are used its a large upheaval for local residents and cost mega dollars for tickets.

        1. Disagree Jayne, having a Waterfront stadium wouldn’t be for the community, be more for our smaller scale sport teams events and spectators who are interested in these kinds of events. Whole point of building a Waterfront stadium would be to bring economic value into Auckland CBD and grow the events over-time by bringing in tourist, sports fans and concert fans. It would be cheaper compared to Eden Park since it’s too costly due to capacity sized seats and wouldn’t be able to fill the seats even if tried. It’s also better to have central based smaller sized stadium.

          If were to build a stadium outside the CBD, it would be a different story! Be more community focused instead of thinking of bring-in economic value since community focused stadiums would be more about engagement level, holding community based events (cultural, sports) and how the stadium is utilised to cater all kinds of needs .You see that with community stadiums in big cities all over the world!

        2. Is anyone else putting a stadium on the waterfront these days? I only know of Hobart, and that is coming in for a massive amount of controversy (for a lot of reasons). Everyone else seems to find a regenration project within about 30mins PT of their CBD.

          I just don’t think the waterfront land is available that is not at the expense of better public amenity. Stadiums, even 30k, have a massive footprint and block alot of sightlines.

          Unless you can bury it amongst port activities, there just isn’t a logical space for it. Quay park is Maori land and they don’t want it. The Port will be there for quite some time yet. Wynyard has a master plan for mixed use and there would be no space for this.

          There is no space for it and its just not really necessary. Mt Smart has had 20,000+ spectators for practically every Warriors game this year, and full for the last few. Clearly the Penrose location, for all its faults in its current state, isn’t an issue.

        3. Besides, the waterfront already has Spark Arena, NZ’s most popular venue. It does more people p.a. than Mt Smart, which does considerably more than Eden Park.

          If we are going to put a building on the waterfront, let’s make it something a bit more sympathetic to the area, A museum of contemporary art and culture. Our own Te papa or Guggenheim. With Spark, that could mean events at various times of the week.

          Use Penrose to build our sporting precinct, combined with a commercial, retail and residential masterplan for a new town center.

        4. Nobody has mentioned this as an ideal place is around Drury or Paerta as there is Rail from Auckland or Hamilton and you have a fresh plate to build and no Nimbies moaning about noise and with say a 5min walk to the Stadium from the Station . And it would be a lot cheaper than building one on the Waterfront which in the next 5o years could be underwater with this change in Climate .

        5. Drury is getting a lot further south. Penrose is more central to the region with the same, if not better, rail access.

          It’s where the southern, Eastern and Onehunga lines meet. One change on the Western (unless its a crosstown route).

          If we are building a new town center, we could relocate Penrose a bit south, but I would instead put in a new Southdown station to service the area and be the end of the mayor’s Avondale-Southdown line down SH20 (which could also be a busway or light rail).

        6. With the speed improvements proposed and utilising the 3rd main to allow for express services, T Huia could do Hamilton Central to a new Stadium there in about 1hr. Slightly longer with some North Waikato stops as part of an “Event Express” service

  22. Yes sadly I have to agree its not for the enjoyment of ‘ordinary’ NZers at all; but we will still be expected to pay for it with rates and even government funding…

  23. That spaghetti bowl you suggested is pretty close to eden park.
    You would be hard pressed to convince people to spend a billion or so to build a new stadium 800m from the old one.

  24. The dream that never dies….

    My guess is neither will happen.

    The waterfront submarine has too many strings attached (gifting of Eden Park land) as well as very conservative costing.

    Mayor Brown won’t want to put a single dollar into Eden Park. NACT would prefer a PPP, which would presumably be another option on a different site.

    Not sure I can see another option coming together in just 16 days, but we can hope.

    1. It’s like all these Local Body Leaders just want their Names on a Brass plague at the Entrance , so when they go to the Grave he can say I did that .

    2. That Eden Park video pretty nice, walking bridge, retractable roof etc would improve things a lot. I wonder what sound would escape if they had it closed and a loud concert was held? Seems it needs to host more to justify itself more anyway.

      1. It has all the bases covered – except for costing.

        They haven’t provided one, just the statement that it would be “40%-50% cheaper than a new stadium”…..

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