Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium, has appointed Nick Sautner as its new chief executive, taking over from Guy Ngata who was recently named general manager at the new Dubai Arena.

Sautner joined Eden Park in June 2016 as general manager of commercial, and has implemented several initiatives to grow revenue, such as an icon partnership programme securing Kia Motors New Zealand, Samsung, Kennards Hire, Vodafone, Powerade and AA Insurance.

Eden Park Trust Board chairman Doug McKay said: “(For) the first time in the stadium’s history, corporate suites are fully subscribed and membership growth has exceeded 40 per cent. Nick has also introduced and driven key community initiatives including a partnership with the Auckland RSA and a public art exhibition celebrating Eden Park’s surrounding neighbourhood.”

Prior to joining Eden Park, Sautner worked at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, as well as at the West Australian Football Commission in Perth in various roles including chief commercial officer and chief operating officer.

“As an Australian, and like many, I have always considered Eden Park to be one of the world’s most iconic sports stadia. Eden Park is known and revered globally,” Sautner said.

He added: “I am honoured to lead the Eden Park team and this historic venue into the future. I look forward to working collaboratively with our venue hirers, local community, council and government, corporate sponsors and contractors for the benefit of the people of Auckland.”

Sautner will start his new role on November 1, taking over from Ngata, the former chief executive of New Zealand’s largest stadium that has a 50,000 capacity.

Ngata will take over operations at the 20,000-capacity Dubai Arena, which AEG claims will be the new “go-to” venue for concerts, sports and other live entertainment in the Middle East when it opens next year.

During his time at Eden Park, Ngata helped the stadium to its most profitable year outside of a World Cup year in 2016. The venue is on target to significantly exceed that result this year, AEG Ogden said.

Image: Kiwi Flickr