Eden Park


Eden Park

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Eden Park
nickname = Garden of Eden [ [http://www.rugbyheaven.co.nz/4466654a22775.html RugbyHeaven.co.nz] ]


caption =
location = Kingsland, Auckland, New Zealand
coordinates = coord|36|52|30.13|S|174|44|41.16|E|region:NZ_type:landmark
broke_ground =
opened = 1900
renovated =
expanded =
closed =
demolished =
owner = Eden Park Trust Board
operator = Eden Park Trust Board
surface = Grass
construction_cost =
architect =
project_manager =
main_contractors =
former_names =
tenants = Auckland Rugby Football Union
Blues
seating_capacity = 45,472
dimensions =

Eden Park is the main sports ground in Auckland, New Zealand for both rugby union during winter, and cricket in summer. To accommodate both sports, the cricket pitch is removable. The ground is located three kilometres southwest of Auckland's CBD, straddling the boundary between the Kingsland and Mt. Eden suburbs. It is set to become the first stadium to host two Rugby World Cup Finals in 2011, having held the inaugural final in 1987.

History

The Eden Park area has been in use for sport since around 1900. Eden Park has been the home to Auckland Cricket since 1910, and also hosts international Test and One-Day cricket.

The ground has also been the home of the Auckland Rugby Union since 1925, hosting Auckland's home games in the National Provincial Championship and its successor the Air New Zealand Cup, as well as the Blues in Super Rugby, and international test rugby. It hosted the final match of the Rugby World Cup in 1987. In a switch of codes, Eden Park hosted the 1988 Rugby League World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia, which drew a sell out crowd.

It is scheduled to be the focal point of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, with the opening ceremony, first pool game, both semi finals, third place play-off and the final taking place at Eden Park, as well as numerous other pool and knockout games.

Redevelopment Plans

Capacity

Eden Park has a crowd capacity of 42,000 for cricket, and 47,500 for rugby. [http://www.edenpark.co.nz/about/frequentlyaskedquestions.asp#8] This is the largest of any New Zealand sports arena. There are no standing areas. Temporary seating in front of the ASB Stand and the West Stand (usually only used for international rugby matches) is required for the capacity of 45,472 to be reached. Due to sight-screens and the larger area required for cricket matches, cricket capacity is less.

With Eden Park now reconfirmed (as of November 2006) as the preferred site for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, improvements worth NZ$320 million are intended to increase the crowd capacity to 60,000. However, the scope of the capacity increase (permanent vs temporary seating, dimensions of the extended structure) will be subject to further design and costing reviews.

Funding

The NZ$320 million for these improvements is still mostly unassigned. As of August 2006, the Government of New Zealand, that pledged the improvements at the time Auckland was selected as the host of the Rugby World Cup, has only promised NZ$20 million, with the New Zealand Rugby Union promising NZ$10 million and the Eden Park Trust Board promising NZ$24 million. Auckland City would then have to contribute NZ$100 million or more, as mayor Dick Hubbard has publicly admitted. [" [http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=1501105&ObjectID=10395581 Ratepayers baulk at Eden Park demand] " - New Zealand Herald, Friday 11 August 2006, page A13] .

Rates hikes in the Auckland area in 2006, of quite substantial percentages in many cases, have however increased widespread unwillingness of many rate-payers to provide what is perceived as a national stadium solely or substantially by Auckland ratepayer funds. Associated criticism has centred on whether funding a large new sports stadium, to be used at the new capacity for only a few days a year, should be a priority at this time, when there is widespread complaint about the level of other council services. This means that allocation of ratepayer/council funds will likely become an acrimonious political process, if the planned expansion comes to pass at all.

Expansion

The redevelopment project includes a new three-tier South stand that will replace the old South and South West stands with a capacity of 24,000 and a new three-tier East stand to replace the Terraces. The number of covered seats will increase from 23,000 to 38,000. The redeveloped Eden Park will also feature an internal concourse that will allow people to circulate around the grounds inside the stadium and world-class facilities, including food and beverage outlets, toilets and corporate areas, are being promised. Public transport upgrades are also planned, including a transport hub, featuring a pedestrian bridge between the stadium and Kingsland, and a bus drop-off area. The open plan approach to the design and establishment of a community centre and green space, as well as the removal of the perimeter fence, all mean that the stadium is set to become more publicly accessible and a part of the neighbourhood.

There have been public concerns about the height of the new structure and its shading effect on many nearby houses. Auckland City Council announced that it had received 470 submissions towards Eden Park's resource consent application - over 300 of which were in favour of the redevelopment. On 26 January 2007, Eden Park received resource consent, but 91 conditions were imposed. The consent permits the building of new stands in place of the terraces and south stand, but does not include consent for the NZ$ 385 million 'full option' which would include covered seating. [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10421176 Eden Park upgrade takes step ahead] " - New Zealand Herald, Saturday 27 January 2007]

Possible alternative stadium for the RWC

In September 2006 it was announced that instead of Eden Park, the Government and Auckland City Council were assessing the possibility of a new stadium on Auckland's waterfront to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. This assessment was part of the Government's formal due diligence process on the decision to redevelop Eden Park. The Government had said it would assist with the funding if a new stadium was built.Fact|date=February 2007

The national Government announced in a report in November 2006 that it would favour a new stadium on the Auckland City waterfront, which would have meant that the Eden Park redevelopment would not have gone ahead, and that eventually, new options for its use or redevelopment would have to be developed.

After the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Council differed in their support for the new stadium, the Government changed to supporting the redevelopment of Eden Park, subject to suitable resolution of the design, funding and governance issues. [" [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10412665 It's Eden Park, Government says] " - New Zealand Herald, Monday 27 November 2006]

ee also

*List of All Black Tests at Eden Park
*2011 Rugby World Cup
*Stadium New Zealand

References

External links

* [http://www.edenpark.co.nz/default.asp Eden Park website]
* [http://www.allblacks.com/index.cfm?layout=displayNews&newsArticle=4117 All Blacks.com]
* [http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/projects/edenpark/documents.asp Redevelopment Plans]


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