Saturday July 1, 2006 - NZ Herald
By Wayne Thompson
A sophisticated transport hub capable of moving up to 45,000 fans by bus and rail is a feature of plans for the revamped Eden Park unveiled yesterday.
The chairman of the Eden Park Trust Board's development committee, Rob Fisher, said one of the advantages of revamping the park instead of a greenfields development elsewhere was its close links to bus and rail and to Auckland's downtown hotels, entertainment, bars, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
Sandringham Rd would become the park's "front door" and buses would use it to drop off passengers at the hub.
Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard said the city council and the Auckland Regional Transport Authority would make sure public transport was available for sports fans.
Mr Fisher said it was hoped to apply for resource consent for the whole revamp in August with the aim of finishing work in 2010.
Mt Eden residents' groups say they are feeling positive about the planned $320 million revamp for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
They say the committee charged with redeveloping the 100-year-old park is listening to their concerns about the effect of a larger stadium, crowds and traffic after years of having their neighbourhood taken over on match days by fans and vehicles.
"From what we saw yesterday they are making a real effort with addressing our concerns with proposals for a transport hub and a footbridge to Kingsland to encourage the use of public transport," said Eden Park Neighbours' Association chairman Mark Donnelly.
The plan to cut the number of entrances to the stadium from 16 to four to reduce crowds on the streets was also welcomed.
Mr Donnelly said public meetings would be held this month and the park development committee would be questioned about the containment of floodlighting and noise.
Eden Park Residents' Association chairman Jose Fowler said the design was a "step in the right direction".
"This is an opportunity for residents to ensure that not only is the park being done up but the neighbourhood as well."
He said the design promised to get people into the stadium as quickly as possible and to contain them.
However, residents raised noise and security concerns about the proposal to remove the park's boundary fences and open up grassed areas for public recreation.
The plan is to raise capacity from 47,500 to the 60,000 required for World Cup match standards. This will be done by extending the ASB stand to replace the Panasonic stand and building a $208 million three-tier south stand and $45 million east stand.
The terraces and the existing south stand will be demolished.
* Residents are invited to attend public meetings on the plans at Eden Park today, 10.30am to 12.30pm; Thursday, July 13, 7pm to 9pm, and Thursday, July 27, 7pm to 9pm.