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New Auckland Stadium backers look at LA Live-style precinct

New Auckland Stadium backers look at LA Live-style precinct
March 22, 2017

A group of private equity partners are reportedly looking to join together to develop a new entertainment and retail base - including a 35,000 seat stadium - to downtown Auckland.

With Auckland Council having commissioned a consultancy report into the possible revival of plans for a harbourside sports stadium, the New Zealand Herald has reported that the New Zealand Warriors' multi-millionaire owner, Eric Watson, and his NRL club's naming-rights sponsor, Vodafone, are keen to back a centrally located stadium.

Watson told the Weekend Herald "I am prepared to be part of a private investor group that could be gathered to make a world-class retail and entertainment precinct around the stadium a reality.

"Right now the alternatives are not suitable, in the wrong location and are fast becoming outdated for the population growth Auckland will face in the next 20 to 50 years."

With Auckland Mayor Phil Goff apparently favouring a new stadium being sited on railway land alongside Vector Arena close to the city's main public transport and hospitality facilities, such a venue could echo AEG’s LA Live precinct as well as the planned AEG Ogden Brisbane Live entertainment development.

Watson acknowledged the expense of a world-class venue and said part of the cost could be covered by the sale of Eden Park, adding “the ownership structure needs to be looked at as to how the proceeds could be used but ideally it would be great to see this go into the new stadium."

With Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium limited to 21 night events a year and apparently needing a $250 million redevelopment in the next 15 years, a new venue could be partly funded by the sale of its site – located in prime residential area.

However, the influential Eden Park Trust are likely to fight for the historic home of New Zealand rugby to continue as the city and country’s major stadium.

Mindful that stadium building and running costs tend to rise above estimates, AUT Professor of Construction Management John Tookey said there needed to be honest debate about the true cost of the proposed Auckland stadium.

Toohey suggested to the Weekend Herald that the current $1 billion cost estimate was "hugely conservative" and if ratepayers ended up footing the majority of the bill it equated to $2,000 per household in rates.

Professor Toohey stated “my biggest concern is that politicians keen to start their pet projects are low-balling costs to get the project off the ground.

"It's a hell of a lot of money in a environment where our infrastructure is poor."

Professor Tookey also warned the current transport systems to the city were not even capable of servicing the proposed stadium.

Consultancy PwC has been commissioned through the Council's regional facilities division to investigate potential sites, including a stadium on the railway land.

Its report is due back in the middle of the year.

Image: Auckland's waterfront stadium, as planned for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

17th March 2017 - NEW ZEALAND LANDMARKS GO GREEN TO CELEBRATE ST PATRICK’S DAY

16th March 2017 - AUCKLAND COUNCIL REOPENS CONSIDERATION OF NEW WATERFRONT STADIUM 

8th May 2016 - PLANS REVEALED FOR NEW $2 BILLION ‘BRISBANE LIVE’ ENTERTAINMENT ARENA PRECINCT

21st March 2016 - REVIVAL OF PLANS FOR NEW AUCKLAND WATERFRONT SUPER STADIUM

19th February 2016 - WARRIORS TO STAY AT MOUNT SMART UNTIL END OF 2028 

7th September 2015 - LIVE NATION GETS APPROVAL FOR VECTOR ARENA PURCHASE

10th August 2015 - MAYORAL CANDIDATE URGES SALE OF AUCKLAND’S ‘SURPLUS’ STADIUMS

11th December 2014 - $30 MILLION INVESTMENT TO BOOST AUCKLAND’S STADIUMS

30th September 2014 - EDEN PARK TRUSTEES REJECT AUCKLAND COUNCIL COST-CUTTING PROPOSAL

24th October 2012 - MORE CONSULTATION ON AUCKLAND COUNCIL STADIUM REPORT


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