Eden Park battling for its future as New Zealand's home of sport

It's played host to some of New Zealand's most triumphant sporting moments, but the future of the country's biggest sporting venue is under immense pressure.

Financial woes continue to plague Eden Park with a due date looming on its multimillion-dollar bank loan and no cash to pay for basic maintenance.

Eden Park is running on borrowed time and millions of borrowed dollars - money it can't pay back.

Auckland Council has loaned Eden Park Trust $6.5 million, and is the guarantor for another $40 million bank loan - but a new report commissioned by the council claims the trust would struggle to pay even the interest on that this year.

Over the next decade it will run up a deficit of $80 million - raising big questions about its future.

Jose Fowler of the Eden Park Residents Association told Newshub he would be devastated if the stadium closed.

"I think this is part of Auckland's rugby and sporting history - let's not forget cricket is here, it would just be terrible."

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the situation is serious, and while Eden Park is an important sporting venue, he doesn't think ratepayers will want council to hand over millions of dollars without resolving the underlying issues.

The main one of those is a lack of events. Council limits the park to hosting 25 night events, but Mr Goff says they're falling well short of that.

Residents say the constraints needs to be lifted.

"I think things can only be turned around if the council backs down. We as neighbours need to put more support into the park by allowing them to conduct more activities so they can survive," Mr Fowler says.

Mr Goff says this is an issue first and foremost for Eden Park Trust to tackle, but the Trust refused to comment. A spokesperson said the recent report was highly sensitive and it would be inappropriate to comment.

The proposals for a shiny new multi-purpose stadium in the city centre in the back of everyone's minds.

The trust has been invited to make a submission to council to determine if history can continue to be made at Eden Park.


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