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Waterfront 'won't get big rock concerts'
Thursday November 16, 2006
By Bernard Orsman

If Auckland thinks it will rock to the likes of the Rolling Stones and Elton John at a new waterfront stadium or an upgraded Eden Park it better think again, says the marketing manager of Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

Steven Thompson said the 34,500-seat stadium had done well attracting a wide range of non-sporting events, but that was largely down to it having the lower North Island market wrapped up for large events.

He said it would be a different story in Auckland where the 12,000-seat indoor Vector Arena could compete over a couple of nights against a big outdoor stadium with weather risks. What's more, the only acts able to sell 20,000 tickets were ageing rock bands with only a few touring years left.

>> Would the big names come to a Waterfront stadium?

Mr Thompson said North Harbour and Mt Smart stadiums also competed for non-sporting events while The Edge, Sky City and Vector would be competing for the convention market.

One of the Government's biggest selling points for a 60,000-seat "national stadium" on the waterfront was its ability to attract major sporting, entertainment and spectator events with no restrictions on hours or days of operation.

On the other hand, Eden Park is limited to 25 night sporting events each year and has limits on the number of people attending daytime trade fairs.