Design & Development

Auckland waterfront stadium plan set to be reborn

An original design concept for the Auckland waterfront stadium

Featured image credit: Peddle Thorp

Plans are to be resurrected for a new waterfront stadium in Auckland, with the project potentially set to go head-to-head with Eden Park’s proposed redevelopment.

The Auckland Waterfront Consortium (AWC), which first revealed its proposal for a NZ$1.8bn (£896.5m/€1.01bn/$1.12bn) venture back in 2018, will unveil new plans later this month, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Back in 2018, the AWC’s vision was for a 50,000-seat, fully enclosed waterfront stadium in the city.

The stadium would have been built alongside a redeveloped Bledisloe Wharf, with the consortium having promised that the project would cost nothing for ratepayers and taxpayers. The consortium had said the “iconic” stadium could be built within 10 years if plans were adopted.

The consortium had been working on the proposal for 18 months. The project included the development of the multi-purpose stadium – previously dubbed The Crater – along with the redevelopment of the wharf as a mixed-use Bledisloe Quarter and the redevelopment of Auckland’s iconic Eden Park stadium for residential use. The stadium was envisioned to be upsized to a capacity of 65,000 for major events and downsized for smaller events.

The development would have been entirely funded by the development of commercial and residential precincts on the current Bledisloe Wharf and Eden Park sites, and by avoiding future maintenance costs at Mt Smart Stadium.

Dave Wigmore, of the AWC, told the Herald: “AWC proposes a modern, fully enclosed, multi-purpose entertainment, sports and events arena, seating up to 70,000 people on the Auckland waterfront at zero public cost.

“The AWC proposal will create a revitalised world-class city extending from Wynyard Quarter to the new ‘Bledisloe Quarter’ and an example of sustainable urban development. The consortium looks forward to the upcoming public debate on the proposal.”

Wigmore added that AWC’s proposal is in “stark contrast” to the cost the Auckland public would face for the redevelopment of Eden Park. On Friday, Eden Park Trust 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 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. However, capacity is expected to be increased to 60,000.