I was devising a few more ideas at the weekend on how to make this website more relevant, and in passing I pondered just how long was it that I’d written about Mt Smart as a smart alternative to Eden Park for a regional stadium.
When I returned to the story, written in 2006 during a debate over funding for Eden Park, I spotted a typo – the letter ‘a’ missing from ‘road’ – and thought I’d fix it. Then I fixed the links at the foot of the story – all the oldest links on this website were broken in one website upgrade several years ago.
As the story still appeared relevant to the current debate, I’ve reposted it.
Now to elaborate a little on:
- Where to have a stadium
- How to boost its use
- Who should own & operate it.
First, Eden Park:
Neighbours are not going to relent on contesting more use for noisier night-time events. The park could become a vibrant residential precinct without destroying the area’s suburban nature.
Eden Park’s best use is to be turned over to intensive residential, with some business elements.
The neighbourhood has a light industrial precinct round the corner, it has a rail station on its doorstep and it could have light rail on both Dominion & Sandringham Rds.
Kingsland’s business precinct is turning into a thriving city fringe area a couple of hundred metres away and could easily be expanded into the edge of the Eden Park precinct.
One proposal, revived late last year, was to build a stadium on the waterfront. Yes, I’ve written about that before too, and also about my feeling that a large stadium would be filled less & less frequently.
Do you build for what might now be a once-in-a-decade crowd of 60,000, or do you create facilities for a wider range of participants, smaller grandstand audiences but frequent use?
One point in favour of a waterfront (or in-water) stadium is that it would support the downtown & waterfront hospitality venues.
I see Mt Smart as the midway point in the region, which could easily have improved public transport, especially rail, on regular commuter routes. It could also become a hub for hospitality & accommodation development mid-region, including an enhanced foreshore for the Manukau Harbour from Onehunga to Otahuhu.
Who should own & operate it?
But, as any stadium needs to earn its keep and none of them will do that from occasional big events, it should have other sports facilities added to it so it becomes a venue for a range of major events as well as a centre for numerous club & fitness activities.
Who would own & operate such a venue?
It could be publicly owned, by the council or a council entity, or by an amalgam of sports groups using it. And as a national venue, it could have Government input to ownership.
One thing Auckland doesn’t need to do is spend another dozen years not mapping out a sensible course for sports venue – and adopting it. There have been plenty of starts, but no finish.
Here’s the original story link, plus a few more:
Lee road-tests Mt Smart with councillor governance fest, and Swney suggests an Amsterdam model
7 November 2018: Council committee ignores point of waterfront stadium request: agreement to test feasibility
19 October 2018: Consortium releases waterfront stadium proposal details
28 September 2012: Auckland’s stadiums – round we go again
21 February 2007: Mallard could have done so much more to enlist support for a stadium
3 December 2006: Ah, the stadium. Automatically we say no. Or are we really telling our politicians to think smarter?
28 November 2006: Waterfront out, new governing body for all Auckland stadiums planned
24 November 2006: ARC rejects waterfront stadium unanimously
23 November 2006: Waterfront stadium gets the Auckland City vote
13 October 2006: Council votes behind closed doors for waterfront stadium
Attribution: Bob Dey.