‘Hill said: "I don't know what the future is for them. I haven't gone into that."’Here we go again.... a new boss running Auckland Facilities and he seems to favour getting rid of both Mt Smart and North Harbour Stadiums in favour of Eden Park. Get out the pitch forks guys and girls!!!
Auckland Unlimited boss casts doubt on future of Mt Smart and North Harbour stadiums
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.
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.
The rationale for Hill's backing of Eden Park is "what's best for Auckland".
"I think Eden Park having more ability to host concerts and more capacity to be used is a good thing for Auckland.
"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.
I imagine that would be a feasible plan if Auckland Council owned Eden park, but they don't.Wouldn't you think they build a new stadium, 30,000 capacity.. Waterfront be ideal.. sell Eden Parks land for property development (and a small park in middle always to be called Eden Park), Sell Mt Smart to speedway or property (industrial by the looks).. potentially sell Albany also to property developers.. Id imagine you would be half way to paying for it.. then all codes share it.. can't be that hard surely? been said a million times before but common sense goes a long way.
however of they called in their existing loans or even just threatened them with no more, they would own it tomorrowI imagine that would be a feasible plan if Auckland Council owned Eden park, but they don't.
That’s like one of those quiz shows where the contestants lose but get shown what they would have won.An unseen, magical downtown stadium for Auckland
WATCH: Newsroom has obtained a video and images of a spectacular stadium that was mooted for the downtown Auckland railways land, the favoured site in a previously secret report to the Mayor. Aucklanders never got to see what might have been.
WATCH: Newsroom has obtained a video and images of a spectacular stadium that was mooted for the downtown Auckland railways land, the favoured site in a previously secret report to the Mayorwww.newsroom.co.nz
Too right. An amazing concept having a major stadium in town. A modern stadium instead of the patched up stadiums we tend to have in this country.Fk that's a great concept.
But this article is just the annual reminder that there are amazing people with amazing ideas, and idiots who prevent them from realizing their potential
so sick of this argument. Carlaw parks days were done. it was small, old, had no space to expand, etc etc... What they should have done is used the railway land even back then to build a half decent rectangular stadium near Carlaw park. or even since then. Hell even the University should have done a land swap and used that land to make a magical university space where the whole uni could have been in one location like some of the great unis around the world. Anything but moving out into the boonies away from the true heart of auckland.Carlaw Park should've been our home ground from day one. What a waste.