Home About the Association Become a Member Register for Newsletters/Updates Contact Us
Tell a Neighbour/Friend
Community Links
Association Rules
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions
Eden Park produces a $160m Cup plan
Thursday November 30, 2006
By Bernard Orsman

Eden Park could be spruced up for the 2011 Rugby World Cup for $160 million - about 40 per cent of the $385 million pricetag for the "deluxe" upgrade.

The Eden Park Trust Board has told the Auckland City Council that as a last resort it could meet the International Rugby Board's requirement for 60,000 seats "by building the new south stand only" for $160 million.

In a written proposal to the council for funding assistance, the board said it would have difficulty obtaining resource consents for the lower-priced option because of its effects on the community.

The board said it reserved the right to review the nature of the project if there was a funding shortfall.

"If consents could be obtained for replacing the south stand and making minimal changes to other areas of the ground then the trust board would consider this option, albeit that it would be a sub-optimal option," the proposal said.

A row has erupted over paying for the $385 million option.

The Government has said it would get less taxpayer money than the abandoned "national stadium" on the waterfront, the Auckland Regional Council refuses to put up a cent and Auckland City councillors are divided over a contribution.

Eden Park development committee chairman Rob Fisher last night accepted the "words are there" in the proposal, but said: "I don't know of any $160 million option."

It was a "high level figure" that did not include the $24 million cost of extending the ASB stand, contingency and other costs.

"We have to have a south stand and we have to have the east stand because without the east stand we wouldn't get people to support the south stand," Mr Fisher said.

The east stand was expected to reduce light and noise spill to neighbouring homes.

Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard has appointed officials to scrutinise the costs of Eden Park, and will not comment on the matter until a financing plan is thrashed out by December 13.

Prime Minister Helen Clark declined to comment on the Eden Park cost and money issues at a function on the Auckland waterfront last night.

Act leader and Epsom MP Rodney Hide said Auckland ratepayers and taxpayers did not want to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a stadium.

"If there is a cheaper option, we should go for it," he said.

Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard said it was time to revisit the entire Eden Park proposal because of several "dynamic changes".

The Government had dropped a proposed bed and departure tax to help pay for Eden Park, its contribution was unknown and the regional council was not coming to the party, he said.

He had heard about the $160 million figure, but did not know what it would deliver in the way of facilities and effect on the community.

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis said he believed the upgrade could be done for about $40 million by using temporary seating..

The board produced the $385 million option this month, featuring covered seating all the way round Eden Park and a lower roof designed to reduce shading of neighbours.