Government backs Eden Park

Almost a year after it was announced that New Zealand would host the 2011 Rugby World Cup and that Auckland will host the final, it has been confirmed that Eden Park will host the event and will be redeveloped in the next five years.

In September it was announced that the Government were investigating alternatives to developing the time-honoured stadium, which is awkwardly located in a residential area leading to restrictions on times of events and difficulties with transport and parking.

An altogether new stadium on Auckland’s waterfront became a leading contender, but that was a more costly option and one that public opinion was largely against. Today after months of uncertainty the Government announced that Eden Park’s $385 million redevelopment will go ahead, a redevelopment that will see the ground’s capacity rise from 47,000 to 60,0000.

What remains unclear is how it will be funded, with the Government suggesting it would only fund a new ‘national’ stadium as opposed to the ‘regional’ stadium that is Eden Park, and the Auckland Regional Council, despite playing a substantial role in putting an end to the waterfront stadium idea by voting unanimously against it, having no intention to foot any of the bill.

Auckland cricket is also somewhat on the outer, as although Eden Park will be able to host one-day internationals, the construction means that the ground will be required to meet ICC ground criteria to host Test matches and it will be too small. The Eden Park number 2 ground, which has for many decades been the home of the Auckland domestic cricket team, will make way for a transport hub, leaving Auckland Cricket looking for a new home ground.

The redeveloped Eden Park will be one of the largest cricket venues in Australasia and will therefore be in contention to host a semi-final when the World Cup is held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Eden Park Re-Development

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