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Mt Smart future uncertain.

Rich102

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The future of Mt Smart Stadium and North Harbour stadiums is up in the air with the boss of Auckland Council's new sporting and economic agency saying the city only needs one rectangular football stadium.

Auckland Unlimited chief executive-elect Nick Hill said solving the long-running stadium strategy will probably involve going to some "uncomfortable places".

Hill talked about the city's unresolved stadium strategy in an interview with the Herald on the creation of Auckland Unlimited, the result of a merger of Ateed and Regional Facilities Auckland.

The Ateed boss, being paid $506,000 when Auckland Unlimited comes into being on December 1, expressed strong support for Eden Park, which is owned by a private trust.

DSCOAUNVAJQBJCUTREC7U3PD54.jpg

He said Eden Park will be around for the next 10 years and supports the Eden Park Trust's resource consent application to stage rock concerts as of right.

Asked about the future for council-owned Mt Smart and North Harbour stadiums, Hill said: "I don't know what the future is for them. I haven't gone into that."

Hill's position on concerts is different to that of the outgoing Regional Facilities chief executive Chris Brooks, who opposed the trust's application in a draft submission not presented at a hearing before independent commissioners on the application last week.

In the submission, Brooks said concerts at Eden Park would lead to growing losses for ratepayers at Mt Smart and Western Springs, job losses at the council venues and no net gain in concerts for the city.

"If that has a negative commercial and financial consequence for council then council needs to deal with that. But we start from the principle of what is right for Auckland," he said.

Mayor Phil Goff, who began his mayoralty in 2016 with grand plans for a $1 billion downtown stadium, now believes Eden Park will be the preeminent stadium location in Auckland for at least a decade.

"Given the council's financial position due to Covid-19, the prospect of building any new stadiums in the next 10 years is remote because other infrastructure requirements take priority.

"It will be important for Eden Park to be more closely integrated with council-owned facilities and to get better utilisation from the stadium for multi-sport activities.

"Council is entering into talks with the Eden Park Trust board to find better ways of integrating the use of venues in Auckland for concerts," said Goff.

Last year, the council bailed out Eden Park to the tune of $63 million, which included a $10m no-strings grant for immediate maintenance. This followed a report by EY, painting a dire financial picture for the stadium.


In addition to resolving the stadium strategy, which has floundered since 2012, Hill wants to resurrect the city's battered cultural and tourism sectors and grow the economy in the post-Covid world where there is less money available.

"That will force us to make some really hard choices," he said.

Full story here:
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckl...harbour-stadiums/LFW5FOEF5GPGAKCF3WJMHL6CIY/#
 

spear tackle

Juniors
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1,161
I'd be happy if the council just finished some of the projects its started for example digging up half the roads in the CBD
 

Blair

First Grade
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7,781
Moving the Warriors' homeground from South Auckland to the upper Nth Shore is not an outcome most Warriors fans would want.

Would we trust the city politicians to make the right call by them (us)?

It's one of my bucketlist dreams, a Warriors game at Mt Smart. I wouldn't plan a weekend like that if I had to see them in Albany, or Kingsland for that matter.

Mt Smart does need an upgrade though, doesn't it?
 

Rich102

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After seeing some of the grounds the Warriors played on in smaller Australian centres this year, Gosford etc., it seems embarrassing that Auckland, NZ largest city, can't even guarantee Mt Smart for their use. At the same time how much is being ploughed into the America's Cup? How many will watch that live? For how many weeks?
Something is wrong.
 

Blair

First Grade
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7,781
After seeing some of the grounds the Warriors played on in smaller Australian centres this year, Gosford etc., it seems embarrassing that Auckland, NZ largest city, can't even guarantee Mt Smart for their use. At the same time how much is being ploughed into the America's Cup? How many will watch that live? For how many weeks?
Something is wrong.

That's correct, Gosford is a neat stadium, I wish the Warriors could bring it home with them!

Other Sydney sides, Manly, Penrith, Cronulla and the Tigers, play in quite ramshackle facilities, simliar or worse than Mt Smart I believe.

But they have character, and character goes a long way. I need to see Mt Smart before any potential uprade or, worse, demolition.

The Americas Cup? A big money be-in. Nothing changes there.
 

JJ

Referee
Messages
29,246
Strong feeling of déjà vu on this one...

Up there with the second harbour crossing, light rail and fixing the housing crisis... lots of politicians and consultants living the high life
 

Blair

First Grade
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7,781
Strong feeling of déjà vu on this one...

Up there with the second harbour crossing, light rail and fixing the housing crisis... lots of politicians and consultants living the high life

I always lament the spiv who planned to build that superdome somewhere near Mt Wellington, circa 1992. He had the site nailed down and everything. The Warriors were going to use its construction as part of their application to join the NSWRL.

It was so exciting. He went bust.
 

SpaceMonkey

Referee
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27,732
I guess Covid has screwed city finances up and we’re stuck with it for now but really Eden Park is the ball and chain around Auckland’s neck. Hopefully in a decade they can finally get rid of it. God how I wish the Waterfront stadium had actually been built for the 2011 RWC.
 

LeagueNut

First Grade
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6,898
Serious question: Can anyone explain, in nice simple words, why the Council appears to bend over backwards to accommodate Eden Park when it's privately owned? Why would the Council bail out a privately owned stadium when it's got it's own stadiums to worry about??

Also, if "the city only needs one rectangular football stadium", then why not sell both Mt Smart & North Harbour and use the $$$ to build a proper rectangular stadium in the CBD?
 

LeagueNut

First Grade
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6,898
Still doesn't explain why the Council needs to get involved. Let the ARU or NZRU sort it out. It shouldn't need to be a ratepayers problem.
 

flippikat

Bench
Messages
2,804
And Cricket. Probably the two most powerful sporting lobbies in the country.

Yeah, but it's about time Auckland "grew up" and had ONE decent rectangular stadium, and ONE decent cricket Oval that *aren't the same venue*.

Christchurch & Dunedin have made the move to separate venues - ditching the multi-use folly with the demolition of Lancaster Park & Carisbrook.. Hamilton always had separate venues. It's the way of the future.

Wellington predictably screwed up by making the cake tin an oval, but that's typical of planning down here.. they should've made it rectangular for footy & concerts only, plus some upgrades (stands, decent floodlights) for the Basin.
 

JJ

Referee
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29,246
Not so are I agree, Wellington works well with the Basin as a test venue and the tin for limited overs

we don’t get big test crowds, and our population is so small that two big venues don’t work.

think it is time to grow up but the big venue in Auckland needs to cater to limited overs cricket too...
 

Rich102

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10,698
What hap[pened to cricket at Western Springs?
Thought that was the recommendation from the last round of meddling.
 

SpaceMonkey

Referee
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27,732
Cricket should go to western springs. Complete the terracing to the original plans and it’d have tons of capacity. Doesn’t need much covered space because it’s a dry weather game. Send Speedway to Mt Smart which won’t need to be maintained to international standard. Sell off Eden Park and build one good two tier 50k capacity rectangular ground designed to fit a stage at one end and use that for football and concerts. Keep Nth Harbour for second tier footy.
 

LeagueNut

First Grade
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6,898
^^ It all sounds so logical and I'd vote for that plan every day of the week. But the Council is taking the familiar "try to please everyone, end up pleasing no-one" route.

On a selfish note, I hope the Warriors aren't thinking of using Eden Park if/when we get our first home game in Auckland in 2021. I'd rather have a packed-out Mt Smart.
 

Rich102

Moderator
Staff member
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10,698
Council can't sell off Eden Park. They don't own it. (Although they have put so much money into it.)
Big part of the problem.
Perhaps if Goff et al could get the basics right before they plan on re-developing the waterfront and building Sky paths more people would be happy.
 

SpaceMonkey

Referee
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27,732
The reality is after Covid nothing big is gonna happen for a decade or so. So they should make it a long term plan. Set 2030 as a target for a big venue consolidation, and work towards it gradually.
 

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