John Tamihere throws support behind struggling Eden Park

Mt Eden locals are backing a mayoral hopeful's call to boost activity at the Auckland suburb's struggling stadium.

Mayoral hopeful John Tamihere wants the venue to be better utilised, hosting up to six major non-sporting events a year, and on Saturday called for a "self-funding, covered, multisport venue" on its neighbouring number two ground.

The Eden Park Residents' Association says having Tamihere as Mayor could have a positive influence on getting things like concerts across the line.

"There's quite a lot of barriers put in the way, I guess, of that happening," said Tony Wright, "so someone as influential as the Mayor of Auckland could possibly help those processes in the future."

Promoters have avoided even trying to book events at the park.

"Eden Park would be wonderful but the people that live around Eden Park make sure no one gets in there," Elton John promoter Michael Chugg told Newshub in February.

"It sucks, it sucks for the city when you've got a venue like that and you can't use it."

The central city park, which recently got a massive bailout from Auckland Council, has powerful opponents living nearby - former Prime Minister Helen Clark among them - who oppose holding noisy, disruptive events.

Wright said the Park Residents' Association is keen to meet with Tamihere to learn more.

"We'd be very keen to meet with him and understand a bit more detail around that position, but on the surface it looks like a fairly ambitious plan to support the park. It's great to hear local politicians taking up the cause of promoting Eden Park, rather than putting it down."

John Tamihere.
John Tamihere. Photo credit: Getty

Tamihere also wants the stadium to be able to host other sporting codes, including league's New Zealand Warriors, which face a costly revamp of their current home ground, Mt Smart.

"It's looking at a $350 million cost, the ratepayer doesn't have that."


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