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Cheaper Eden Park upgrade confirmed
Monday February 19, 2007

The Government has confirmed the upgrade of Eden Park will involve a new South Stand and temporary seating.

The stand to be used for the Rugby World Cup in 2011 would cost up to $190 million and would be acceptable to rugby officials, Sports Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The Government have looked at building a new stadium and a more ambitious revamp of Eden Park to get a 60,000 seat venue for the cup, but have now settled for a cheaper version.

Mr Mallard announced said: "The proposed redesign, approved by Cabinet today, will involve the construction of a new permanent South Stand and the use of high quality temporary seating, to provide a world class player and spectator experience.

"We are confident that this proposed design for a finals venue, alongside all the other event planning underway, will deliver a tournament and sporting spectacle that New Zealand can celebrate."

Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd Chairman Jock Hobbs said the tournament company had also given its approval to the new design.

He said: "This new proposal is superior to the one outlined in our original bid, which also included a mixture of permanent and temporary facilities, and having consulted with the IRB, we are confident it meets the IRB's expectations for the tournament."

Mr Mallard said modern temporary seating design was as good as permanent facilities.

The original bid, which was accepted by the IRB, proposed to increase the seating capacity of Eden Park to 60,000 seats, using a combination of permanent and temporary seating.

Mr Mallard said it may now be possible to have a greater capacity than 60,000 through temporary seating behind the West Stand.

The permanent capacity for Eden Park will be around 50,000 seats, and included new corporate boxes, media and players' facilities in the South Stand, which will meet the current 30m height restriction.

The temporary seating will require resource consent approval but the Government was not anticipating problems with that given it was for a one-off event over a relatively short period of time.