Auckland waterfront stadium back on the cards

  • 21/03/2016
Phil Goff (Paul Henry)
Phil Goff (Paul Henry)

Rich lister Eric Watson, who owns the Warriors rugby league side, says it would be "very interesting" to a lot of people he knows.

"The world sees Auckland as a growth city, an aspirational city, a city to invest in," he told Paul Henry from London. "Auckland's not particularly leveraged, if you look at the total value that's assets, and it's a high-growth opportunity to invest in a stadium -- properly organised, properly managed and surrounded with other commercial activities."

Eden Park's fatal flaw is its location -- though close to a train station, it's surrounded by residential properties, preventing late-running events or big rock concerts. This limitation has seen it running at a loss. Mayoral candidate Phil Goff also says money isn't being set aside to account for depreciation.

"It could be up to a quarter of a billion dollars. Do we want to reinvest a quarter of a billion dollars in a stadium that's in the wrong place? Because it's right in the middle of residential areas, you can't run concerts there. It's seen as a rugby stadium, so the Warriors aren't interested.

"If we're going to have a new stadium, first of all there has to be a big event because it's going to have some Government money. Our city turned down half-a-billion dollars in 2006."

In 2006, then Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard offered $500 million in taxpayer funding for a waterfront stadium, which the now-defunct Auckland Regional Council rejected.