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Eden Park looks to stage live entertainment events

Eden Park looks to stage live entertainment events
March 5, 2018

The Eden Park Trust has released a concept video showing how New Zealand’s largest stadium could be transformed from a rugby and cricket venue into a concert stadium, as part of a move to host major non-sporting events there.

The Eden Park concert-mode flyover video show rows of seats on the ground in front of a stage and giant screen. It also demonstrates the 50,000-capacity stadium's proximity to public transport.

Commenting on the plan to remove restrictions on the venue’s ability to stage entertainment events, Eden Park Trust Chief Executive Nick Sautner told Auckland newspaper the Herald on Sunday “the flyover demonstrates the level of operational planning that Eden Park has considered to successfully deliver the proposed cultural, arts and music events for Auckland.

"We want fans of Adele, Sir Paul McCartney, the Edinburgh Tattoo, Andre Rieu, opera, eSports and the arts to enjoy Eden Park.

"Cultural, arts, comedy and music events will attract new audiences who may never have attended a rugby or cricket match, all whilst delivering significant economic benefits to the community and city."

Sautner explained that some of the world's biggest artists and promoters want to perform at Eden Park because of its global sporting profile, adding “we have an extensive network of international music industry promoters and artists - the overwhelming message is they all want to come to Auckland and Eden Park.

"We have a list of local and global artists just waiting for the green light."

However, Sautner said a hurdle to hosting concerts at Eden Park was the time it would take to get consent for such events.

He added “the Unitary Plan allows Eden Park to apply for a resource consent for up to six concerts a year as a discretionary activity. As the name suggests, a discretionary activity is one that the (Auckland) Council has discretion to grant or decline.

"A resource consent application - once lodged - would likely take at least 18 months to make its way through the council and Environment Court processes, unless one of the new 'fast track' mechanisms were selected."

Sautner said Eden Park Trust would take neighbours' concerns into account in any plans for concerts, advising “we are committed to working with Auckland Council, New Zealand Tourism, ATEED, local business associations and our neighbourhood to mitigate any impact on the surrounding suburbs and also to maximise the benefits for the country and community."

The Herald on Sunday reported local residents groups as having differing views on hosting entertainment events at the venue.

Auckland Council General Manager - Resource Consents Ian Smallburn stated "Auckland Council has never approved a consent for a concert at Eden Park.

"We have only received one such application in the past and it was withdrawn before the consenting process was complete. As per the Unitary Plan, if we did receive such an application, it would be processed as a discretionary activity."

Live Nation Australasia Chief Executive Roger Field also advised "we've explored the prospect of utilising Eden Park for concerts in the past, however we've always found the apparent disharmony between the stadium and immediate surrounds (residents) to be an insurmountable challenge.

"Our business moves very quickly and therefore the ability to propose staging events at a venue that has to undergo an extensive and possibly unsuccessful approval process is simply unworkable."

Commenting on the prospect of performing at Eden Park, Field added "having attended a Bledisloe Cup game at Eden Park, there's no questioning its convenience to the centre of Auckland.

"Given its status in the sporting world, it's a fantastic facility with great amenity all round. We're always keen on additional capacity, and there's definitely an 'event' feel in any city when there's a major concert on close to its centre."

The Eden Park Trust has also announced a partnership with Gilmours Mt Roskill, the local branch of New Zealand's largest supplier of wholesale food and beverages, to give households in the Stadium’s neighbourhood access to discounted prices .

The Gilmours Mt Roskill deal will see the locally owned food and beverage wholesaler become an Eden Park supplier with members of the Stadium’s neighbourhood supporters’ club The Hood set to benefit from exclusive offers.

Commenting on this, Sautner said that  while Eden Park is a globally renowned sporting venue, one of its key objectives is looking after its locals, advising “this partnership is very much in the spirit of keeping it local.

“We’re supporting this locally owned and operated business, and at the same time delivering added value for our community.”

Images: Still from the Eden Park concert-mode flyover video (top) and Nick Sautner (below).

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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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