New Auckland stadium proposed

The $350 million redevelopment of Eden Park ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup is something that the New Zealand government has appeared reluctant to fund, and a proposal of a brand new stadium to replace New Zealand’s largest sporting venue has met with much more approval.

The new stadium, which without such extensive improvements required for transport to the venue would cost a similar amount to the Eden Park redevelopment, would be built on Auckland’s waterfront, making it a much more easily accessible venue much like Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.

Another advantage would be the lack of nearby residential areas, something which has long plagued Eden Park and led to curfews on floodlit matches and other strict rules.

Although the Rugby World Cup is foremost in the minds of those who will make the decision, if the new stadium was built as a replacement for Eden Park it makes sense that the new stadium would host cricket matches played in Auckland, and perhaps host matches in the latter stages of the 2015 World Cup.

The first Test played at Eden Park was against England in 1930, and since then it has hosted 47 Tests and 54 ODIs. It has the dubious honour of playing host to the lowest team score ever recorded in a Test, New Zealand’s infamous 26 against England in 1955, and played host to a dramatic World Cup semi-final in which Inzamam ul-Haq brilliantly guided Pakistan to victory over the home side.

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