Eden Park to install retractable roof as part of major redevelopment plan

A rendering of the Eden Park Trust 2.0 project

Featured image credit: Eden Park Trust

A rendering of the Eden Park Trust 2.0 project

Featured image credit: Eden Park Trust

Eden Park has unveiled plans for a retractable roof and new North Stand as part of a major redevelopment of New Zealand’s national stadium.

The Eden Park 2.0 plan, issued today (April 28), includes initiatives relating to modernisation, sustainability, connectivity and sustainability at the Auckland venue, which plays host to international rugby and cricket as well as major concerts.

The most eye-catching proposals from Eden Park Trust are the new retractable roof guaranteeing that events can be held throughout the year, the new North Stand and upgrades to the East and West stands. Enhanced entry promenades and a new pedestrian bridge are also proposed.

The project would enable multiple field-of-play options suitable for rectangle and oval play formats, different crowd configurations and capacities, new function and entertainment spaces and amenities to enhance the fan experience.

The Eden Park Trust announcement did not include costings, timescale or what the capacity at the current 50,000-seat venue would be following redevelopment.

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said: “Eden Park 2.0 delivers a world-class, multi-purpose, hybrid stadium. It’s a venue where New Zealand can continue to make its mark on the world, a hub for sporting excellence, a state-of-the-art entertainment centre and a destination for fans from across the world.

“Eden Park has always been, and will continue to be, a community asset for Tamaki Makaurau and a strategic asset for Aotearoa, New Zealand. Our 2.0 vision for the future of the national stadium will not only benefit sports and entertainment fans but also contribute to the economic growth of the country.”

The Eden Park 2.0 plan features improved transport connections, including the CRL and proposed light rail network, which would provide enhanced accessibility for fans travelling to and from Eden Park from all around Auckland.

In terms of environmental sustainability, Eden Park has reiterated its commitment to reducing the nation’s carbon footprint through the design and construction plans. Current initiatives include the installation of new LED lights, community refugee garden, the Eden Park beehives and honey, community compost centre, spectator waste management practices and new EV charging technologies.

The Trust said it wants Eden Park to be accessible for everyone to enjoy events and will incorporate accessible seating, restrooms, and other amenities.

Sautner said: “Our goal with 2.0 is to create a venue that not only showcases the best sporting, entertainment, cultural and community events but also promotes sustainability and innovation.

“Offering increased capacity and an enhanced experience for everyone who comes to Eden Park, 2.0 builds on our strong legacy and reputation as an iconic stadium venue, suitable for hosting a diverse range of global and domestic events.

“A modern, sustainable, connected, and accessible national stadium will attract more events and visitors to the area, creating new opportunities for local businesses and communities.”

Eden Park, which first opened in 1900, has since 2021 been allowed to stage multiple major music concerts, as well as night rugby and cricket and football. It underwent a NZ$256m expansion and redevelopment project ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and will this year stage the opening match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.