New stadium coming to Auckland

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In Auckland plans for a national stadium are moving forward, with a decision on its location expected by the end of April.

Leading the charge is Auckland councillor Shane Henderson, who heads a working group reviewing four potential options for the stadium. These include three waterfront locations and a proposal to significantly upgrade the existing Eden Park.

An independent assessor has been tasked with evaluating these proposals to determine their suitability and alignment with Auckland’s and New Zealand’s needs. This assessment process involves a detailed examination of various factors, including the potential sites, operational plans, and financial viability, with a focus on minimizing the financial burden on local ratepayers.

The waterfront proposals are diverse, ranging from a 50,000-seat stadium in Te Tōangaroa at Quay Park, a 70,000-seat sunken stadium at Bledisloe Wharf, to a 55,000-seat facility at Wynyard Point. The alternative option involves upgrading Eden Park, which would include adding a roof.

The working group has set specific criteria for evaluating these options, emphasizing the importance of financial sustainability, collaboration with local Indigenous groups (mana whenua), and environmental and climate considerations.

Auckland’s mayor, Wayne Brown, has stated that the goal is to find a proposal that requires minimal to no funding from ratepayers, a challenge acknowledged by all bidders. Achieving this will likely require a combination of private and government investment, considering the financial constraints compared to other regions with more abundant resources for such projects.

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