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Consultants report reopens debate on new Auckland Stadium

Consultants report reopens debate on new Auckland Stadium
May 19, 2018

A report from consultants PwC has outlined plans for a new rectangular sports stadium in downtown Auckland to be built in one of six locations.

The pre-feasibility study, prepared for Auckland Council at a cost of new nearly $1 million,  comes 12 years after the city turned down a plan for a waterfront stadium for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The confidetial report examined the initial possibility of building a rectangular football-sized stadium, with a retractable roof and an estimated capacity of around 30,000 seats but able to expand to up to 50,000.

Having been withheld by Auckland Council for several months, the report was released yesterday with extensive sections blacked out, including the estimated cost of a stadium and possible locations.

Commenting on the implicationsof the report, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff “we need to plan for the future. It's about what we want Auckland and New Zealand to look like in 10, 20, 30 years' time.

“Of the six unidentified sites for a new downtown stadium, Goff has previously expressed a preference for railway land alongside Spark Arena, which is close to the city's main train, bus and ferry services, the motorway network, and bars and restaurants.

Mayor Goff said he had discussed the plan with New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robertson, saying the two politicians had agreed it would be a good idea to start planning.

Mayor Goff said at the point at which Auckland hosts another major international event like the Rugby World Cup or Commonwealth Games, likely in the 2030s, the Council and Government will need to consider a national stadium.

The new strategy also considers upgrading Eden Park instead of building a new stadium. Mayor Goff said the cost would be in the region of $700 million to $800 million and still leave the venue facing planning constraints and restricted use.

Eden Park Chief Executive Nick Sautner said Auckland and New Zealand needed a stadium of the size and capacity of Eden Park in order to host the large events.

He said Eden Park had a commitment from council and Government that any consideration of a new stadium for Auckland would carefully consider the substantial pubic investment that has already been made in the park and the value that would be lost if Auckland were to build a new stadium.

Previous estimates have suggested that a new national stadium in downtown Auckland costing between $1.1 and $1.5 billion.

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