Developers pitch for major Auckland venue



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Eden Park major upgrade or new stadium Image: Waterfront Stadium (supplied) on stuff.co.nz

Eight private developers have pitched plans for a major stadium in Auckland (New Zealand), in a quickie process which the Council hoped would let it move on to deciding the future of Eden Park versus building new.

‘Stuff’ stated that six relative newcomers have joined the privately-owned Eden Park, and the long-promoted Waterfront Aotearoa Arena, in trying to get the Council’s attention.

The Eden Park is a sports venue in Auckland, New Zealand. It is located three kilometers Southwest of the Auckland central business district (CBD), on the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland. The main stadium has a nominal capacity of 50,000, and is sometimes referred to as New Zealand’s national stadium.

The Stadium New Zealand, often called the Waterfront Stadium, was the provisional name for a national stadium proposed for the Auckland waterfront to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The stadium never advanced beyond a concept design.

‘Stuff’ further stated that the high number may have surprised Council interests, some of whom saw the process as clearing away private proposals before deciding how to fund the Council’s part in existing or revamped stadiums.

“These proposals will be analyzed by various experts to ensure all relevant and detailed information is received,” said a statement from the Stadium Working Group created by the Mayor of Auckland Wayne Brown.

The statement added, “The proposals were asked to provide detailed information including finance, build concepts, how it will be funded, ethical and social sustainability, collaboration and innovation that will meet the increasing needs of Auckland through sustainable events including sport, concerts, festivals.”

The Eden Park was an early mover in the revived discussion on a future stadium by revealing concept designs for an upgrade on its Kingsland site, including a retractable roof.

Brown has said they were looking for proposals that required little or no ratepayer funding.

The Council has given no details about the six other players which have put their hands up.

Said the statement, “Presentations by the chosen consortiums that meet the brief will be held by the Stadium Working Group.”

A report commissioned in 2018 by the then Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff cost $1 million and found that there were viable sites around the City, but also noted that few stadiums around the world existed without public funding.

The Waitākere Ward Councilor Shane Henderson is leading the working group’s work, which it is hoped will provide a clearer picture on how much money the Council should earmark for the stadium work, in its 10-year budget which will be finalized in mid-2024.

While the Trust-Board-owned Eden Park is both Auckland and New Zealand’s biggest venue, it is supported by a $60 million package of loan and underwriting by the Council, with cash for some maintenance.

The Council has also debated without conclusion for a decade, the future of aging and investment-demanding stadiums it owns, such as the 25,000-capacity North Harbour Stadium in Albany, the 30,000-capacity Western Springs Stadium in Auckland and the 25,000-capacity Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.

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