New Zealand’s Eden Park stadium has continued its drive to stage alternative events at the venue by landing hosting rights to an esports competition.

The Auckland venue has partnered with Ping Zero, New Zealand’s longest running and largest esports event organiser to host a three-day LAN (local area network) event, Ping Zero 51, from September 14-16.

The event will accommodate all game genres and styles, with both casual and competitive gaming to be showcased along with two international tournaments.

Ping Zero managing director Conrad Ware said: “We are excited to bring our next gaming event Ping Zero 51 to Eden Park. Hosting two international tournaments we will see some of New Zealand’s top players attending.

“This state-of-the-art facility is the perfect match to host New Zealand’s largest esport LAN. We’d like to thank the Eden Park Trust for giving Ping Zero the opportunity to bring esports to New Zealand’s national stadium.”

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner added: ‘‘Eden Park is iconic and at the centre of many special memories for both Kiwis and visitors to our country. Auckland’s unprecedented growth in recent years demonstrates the city’s global appeal and diverse communities.

“Eden Park is committed to making the stadium available for all of Auckland and New Zealand, not solely for supporters of rugby and cricket. The emergence of esports as a legitimate event worldwide highlights the need for stadium diversification. In addition, cultural, arts and music events will attract new audiences who may have never attended a rugby or cricket match at Eden Park, all whilst delivering significant economic benefits to the community.”

Today’s (Thursday’s) announcement comes after Eden Park last week announced plans to host a Nitro Circus action sports event at the venue in March 2019. In April, the stadium also hosted its first drone-racing event, while in February it launched its own wedding venue service as it seeks to establish itself as a leading multi-purpose facility.

Image: TimBray