Racecourse sale puts beloved Avondale markets under threat

The sale of the Avondale racecourse could spell the end for one of Auckland's longest running markets.

It's one of 20 racecourses that have been slated for closure under a Government plan.

Stallholder Eric Mills has been selling at the Avondale Markets for 30 years, and he says the market's cultural diversity is what makes it unique.

"You're going to get everybody, and they're all together and they're happy."

The market is a popular spot for Aucklanders to snap up goods for a bargain, as well as cheap fruit and vegetables. But it could be under threat as the racecourse has been earmarked for closure in the 2020-2021 season.

A racing report released on Thursday says the course is worth more than $200 million, and it recommends the course is sold for the benefit of the entire industry.

But the news the market might close along with it doesn't sit well with shoppers.

"Not a good idea," one told Newshub. "There are very greedy people on Earth."

"It's that farmers' artisan market style which is nice to do in Auckland, which we're kind of losing," said another.

No one knows exactly when the Avondale markets first began, but it was some time in the 1970s. From small beginnings of just a few stalls, they've now expanded, and receive up to 20,000 visitors every Sunday.

Mr Mills says the market can't just up and move.

"Our closest thing would be the Western Springs Speedway, to handle something like this - but it's not big enough."

One local board member Newshub spoke to says the community should band together and lobby to retain land for playing fields and the unique Sunday markets.