Stadium New Zealand

Capacity60 000
Country New Zealand
CategoryDesign outdated
CostNZ$ 497 M


Stadium New Zealand – design description

How did the concept for a new stadium in Auckland come about?

On November 17, 2005, New Zealand was announced as the host of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and the country's largest metropolitan area, Auckland, was not to be missed among the host cities. Announcements were soon made that Auckland's largest stadium, Eden Park, would be upgraded for the upcoming tournament.

On September 12, 2006, Trevor Mallard, then acting Minister for Sport and Recreation, among others, announced that options were also being considered for a new stadium in Auckland. Various locations were under consideration, including the possibility of redeveloping other stadiums in the metropolitan area.

Ultimately, building a new stadium on the waterfront in the city centre was considered the preferred option. The plans and concept, prepared by Warren and Mahoney Architects, were presented on 10 November 2006, to compete with the idea of upgrading Eden Park, and the local authorities were asked for their opinion on the matter.

What was the concept for a new stadium in Auckland?

The initial concept was to build a new 60,000-seat stadium. The venue was to become the new national stadium and the project was given the working name 'Stadium New Zealand'. The stadium was to be built at Bledisloe Wharf, largely on a site gained through land expansion. The attractive location meant that the facility would be prominent in the skyline of Auckland city centre.

How much was Stadium New Zealand expected to cost?

Construction of the new stadium was, according to initial estimates, expected to cost NZ$497 million (although there were also indications that costs could be much higher), with the cost of upgrading Eden Park assumed to be NZ$385 million.

Why hasn't Stadium New Zealand been built?

On November 23, 2006, Auckland City Council voted in favour of a new stadium on the waterfront, with Auckland Regional Council voting a day later in favour of upgrading Eden Park. Finally, on November 27, 2006, the New Zealand Government, taking into account the views of local authorities, as well as other voices and considerations, decided to upgrade Eden Park.

Against the construction of a new stadium, apart from the higher cost, was the fact that the project exceeded the height limits for the land on which the facility was to be built. Potentially bad impacts on port operations and the environment were also pointed out. In addition, the more than 100-year tradition of Eden Park argued in favour of further investment in this facility.

What impact did the debate about a new stadium in Auckland in 2006 have on further developments?

Following the choice in favour of upgrading Eden Park, the stadium received a new south stand ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. A new national stadium on Auckland's waterfront did not materialise, but the project gave rise to a widespread debate about a new stadium in the city, especially as Eden Park, despite the expansion, still struggled to be viable, and has a fairly wide pitch due to also being suitable for cricket matches.

In 2017, designer Phil O'Reilly came up with a new concept, based on the one created in 2006. It was virtually the same vision, with one big difference – the stadium would be dug into the ground, with the stands located below the water level of the bay. A unique design, dubbed 'The Crater', also failed to materialise, although it inspired another concept ('Auckland Waterfront Stadium'), unveiled in 2018.

Further ideas and concepts for a new stadium in Auckland have been developed over the years and it is likely that the facility will eventually be built after all, perhaps even in the same location that was proposed in 2006.