A leading engineering firm has backed plans to build an underwater stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.
Auckland-based designer Phil O’Reilly last week submitted plans to the city’s Mayor, Phil Goff, for an innovative new venue to be built on Auckland’s waterfront.
The stadium would be sunk into the ground and feature a slide-over roof, and O’Reilly claimed it would be the first venue of its kind anywhere in the world.
The plans have now been endorsed by UK-based BuroHappold Engineering, which has worked on a number of leading venues including the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, London’s Emirates Stadium and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the soon-to-be-opened home of NFL American football team the Atlanta Falcons.
Matthew Birchall, a partner at BuroHappold Engineering, told the New Zealand Herald newspaper that O’Reilly’s project, which has been dubbed The Crater, would be something the firm would consider.
“It is highly unusual and we are always interested in bespoke iconic stadia,” Birchall said. “There is a real potential with this solution to create a modern coliseum of sport and entertainment that would enable a unique experience for the spectators and players alike, and which could generate a truly unique atmosphere.
“We would love to work with the stakeholders in Auckland to realise a new stadium development that would be a catalyst for the city’s ongoing social and economic development. The city’s and the professional sports clubs’ needs could work very well together – creating an active and iconic venue that inspires a generation.”