Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says Eden Park hand-out not fair on ratepayers

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is accusing his council of not putting ratepayers first after handing out a nearly $10 million grant to Eden Park.

The money will go towards upgrading stadium facilities, but that's not the only hand-out Eden Park has asked for.

It's New Zealand's national stadium, but it's also haemorrhaging money.

"All stadiums across the world face challenges in maintaining a half-a-billion-dollar asset," Eden Park's CEO, Nick Sautner, told Newshub.

To help, Auckland Council has gifted $9.8 million - a move Goff is not happy with.

"The Council decided for its own reason that they'd make a gift of $10 million which will go up over time without securing it, without protecting the interests of the ratepayer and that was wrong," Goff says.

Councillors voted 12 to 10 to back the grant. They've had to borrow that money so ratepayers will fork out the interest on the loan repayments.

"If Eden Park were to be sold, the ratepayer doesn't get their investment back," Goff says.

"We haven't protected the ratepayers' interests in that regard and we should've."

Eden Park has had no shortage of financial trouble. Sautner has been quick to defend its latest hand-out, assuring ratepayers they are looking to broaden the scope of what the stadium can host.

"We will be focusing on attracting new events to the city," he says.

"Without additional content it's always going to be challenging to be financially viable so this certainly helps us over the next three years."

Eden Park was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest alone each year.

Auckland Council has already paid off the stadium's loan to the bank. That means Eden Park now owes Auckland Council.

That's worth $50 million and Newshub understands they've asked the Council to forget about it.

"We had a number of options on the table," Sautner says.

Eden Park may have had a healthy top-up but there's still doubt over whether it can ever be financially viable.