Proposed new stadium could become Auckland's Sydney Opera House, designer says

Auckland's waterfront could be getting a facelift with a proposed new stadium already ruffling some feathers.  

The radically designed venue inspired by Māori culture and the City of Sails, named Te Tōangaroa, would house 55,000 spectators.  

HKS Australia director Andrew Colling, who is in the design team, told AM the landmark stadium could become Auckland's version of the Sydney Opera House.  

"We try to design stadiums that are very location specific and down in Te Tōangaroa you get this wonderful vista out to the harbour and you can pick up Rangitoto in the distance," Colling said when asked about the inspiration behind the design.   

He added that one end of the stadium could be opened to allow spectators to see out into the harbour.   

Colling said the final cost is not yet clear, but it will be up into the $1 billion range due to the capacity and opening and closing roof.   

But he added it's well worth it given the prominence he believes it will grow to have.   

"This stadium is right up there with the best in the world, that's what we are designing for. You can host an NFL game... and certainty for rugby league, rugby union and football," he told AM's Melissa Chan-Green.   

"There is a bit of adjusting to do if you want to put a track and field area in there and if that was an ambition that we knew right at the beginning we could certainly design a seating build with that flexibility.  

"We believe as designers the stadium will reach that position where is actually defines the city in a very different way to how it is now."  

But the proposal for a new stadium was controversial when Newshub asked Kiwis about it over the weekend.  

"Um, I don't know. Is it my taxpayer dollars that's paying for that?" one person asked.  

It's not the first time Auckland Council has considered a stadium, ambitious visions of downtown venues have been a dime a dozen in recent years.  

"I don't now have enough digits to count the number of stadium proposals," said Auckland University human geography Professor Tom Baker.  

Auckland Council called for expressions of interest last year - and is set to reveal its preferred options in the coming months.