Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium

Capacity55 000
Country New Zealand
ClubsNZ Warriors, Auckland Blues, Auckland FC
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Design HKS


Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium – design description

How did Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium project come about?

Why is a new stadium needed in Auckland?

To date, the role of Auckland's main stadium has been held by Eden Park, located about 4 km south of Auckland's inner city. Its history dates back to 1900 and over the years it has grown to become one of the most important sporting venues in New Zealand and is sometimes even referred to as the national stadium. The facility has hosted many international events and has become an All Blacks stronghold.

Eden Park is suitable for both rugby and cricket matches. The multifunctionality is an advantage on the one hand, while on the other hand it is pointed out that rugby players should play in a stadium dedicated to their sport. The facility, moreover, is no longer state-of-the-art, and continued investment is generating increasing costs and has so far not made it profitable.

There have thus been calls for some time for a new stadium to be built in Auckland, with a rectangular pitch that the people of New Zealand's largest metropolitan area could be proud of and which would be worthy of the All Blacks' performances. The issue of building a new stadium has, over the years, grown into a wide-ranging community discussion, with many people involved, including top local and national officials, and various ideas and concepts being presented.

What concepts for a new stadium in Auckland have been presented so far?

The first serious approach to the subject of building a major new stadium in Auckland came after New Zealand was selected in November 2005 to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. At the government's initiative, a concept called Stadium New Zealand was conceived in 2006, which was to accommodate 60,000 spectators and be located on Bledisloe Wharf, just outside the city centre. Ultimately, however, it was decided to upgrade Eden Park and the new stadium was not built.

In the following years, new proposals were put forward. One of the most interesting was the Auckland Waterfront Stadium project, unveiled in 2018. The facility was to be built on the same site where Stadium New Zealand was planned in 2006. What made the concept unusual was that the stands were to be dug deep into the ground, so that the vast majority of the auditorium would be below the water level of the nearby bay, and some would even be below the bottom of the bay.

In April 2023, the Eden Park expansion project (Eden Park 2.0) was announced. The stadium was to be upgraded with, among other things, a lockable roof. Shortly afterwards, the originators of the Auckland Waterfront Stadium announced that they would return to work on their concept.

Seeing interest from stakeholders in building a stadium, in September 2023 the city invited interested parties to submit their proposals, one of which would be supported by the authority, thus resolving a dispute that had been going on for years and giving Auckland a new, representative stadium.

When was Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium project conceived?

One of the new proposals for the city was a vision put forward by the Te Tōangaroa Consortium, led by Cenfield MXD Limited. The concept was first presented to the wider public on February 9, 2024, when renderings were published in The New Zealand Herald.

Who created the concept for Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium?

The vision was created by architects from the renowned HKS studio, in collaboration with Buchan, TOA Architects, Boffa Miskell, Aurecon, Robert Bird & Partners, Barker & Associates and Turner & Townsend. The concept was also consulted with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the local Maori tribe, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

What does the concept for Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium entail?

The architects have proposed a highly original form for the stadium, drawing on Maori culture as well as the historic shape of Auckland's waterfront. The U-shaped structure is semi-open, but thanks to a lockable roof and huge gates, it can turn into an airtight building, resistant to adverse weather conditions.

The fancifully shaped roof extends beyond the perimeter of the stands, linking the stadium to a themed hotel, with branding dedicated to the All Blacks. With an unusual design that will make the stadium one-of-a-kind, the venue has the potential to become a symbol of Auckland and even New Zealand as a whole, perhaps even on a par with what the Sydney Opera House is to Australia.

How will Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium be used?

The stadium will be equipped with a rectangular pitch, allowing for rugby, rugby league and football. The stands are expected to hold 55,000 spectators. As Auckland's representative sporting venue, and the largest and most modern stadium in the country, it will serve as New Zealand's de facto national stadium, replacing Eden Park in this role.

The All Blacks, NZ Warriors, Auckland Blues and Auckland FC teams are expected to play here regularly. It is also possible that it will become the arena for occasional NFL league matches and major international sporting events. The venue will also be open to host concerts and other cultural events.

Where is Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium to be built?

The facility is to stand in Quay Park, close to the bay and Auckland city centre, next to the Spark Arena. The stadium is to be built on a platform with railway tracks running underneath. The stadium is just one part of a larger development project, which also includes the construction of four hotels, flats, shops, bars, restaurants, offices, as well as public spaces and green spaces.

Have there been proposals to build a stadium at Quay Park before?

This is not the first proposal to build a stadium at Quay Park. The location was hinted at as early as 2016 by then newly elected mayor Phil Goff, and it was also considered in a feasibility study commissioned by the city in 2017. In 2018, a major development plan with 4,000 flats, as well as a stadium next to Spark Arena, was created by local architecture firm Archimedia.

Where did the name Te Tōangaroa come from?

Historically, the area where the stadium is planned was part of a small bay called Mechanics Bay, or Te Tōangaroa in the Maori language. At the turn of the 20th century, the waterfront was widened, gaining additional land. The name of the project (Te Tōangaroa) refers precisely to the name of the former bay, used by the Maori.

How is Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium to be built?

No initial details of cost or funding model have been given, although it is known that the development will require both private sector and public funding. Construction of the stadium, according to preliminary estimates, could take five to six years, and implementation of the entire development project could take more than 15 years.

What are the chances of Te Tōangaroa Auckland Stadium being built?

The project is a response to a call from the city and an ongoing discussion for years about building a new stadium in Auckland. There are three competing visions: two involve building new stadiums on the waterfront, close to the city centre - at Wynyard Point (National Stadium at Wynyard Point) and at Bledisloe Wharf (Auckland Waterfront Stadium); the third proposal is to expand Eden Park (Eden Park 2.0).

The design for a new stadium at Quay Park is certainly the most extravagant of the four visions, catching the attention of residents and the media, but other factors, such as funding issues, will also determine the city's preferred solution, so it is difficult to assess at this preliminary stage how realistic the chances of this concept being realised are.



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