Cricket Oval to be 'retired'
Media Release - North Harbour Stadium Oval March 29, 2004
Following the 2003-04 cricket season the North Shore Domain & North Harbour Stadium Trust and Auckland Cricket Association have met to review the continued use of North Harbour Stadium Oval as a First Class cricket ground.
Due to an insufficient First Class cricket program that can be guaranteed for play on the oval and greater potential for use of the oval by other sporting codes, the cricket block will be removed at the conclusion of the current season.
A First Class cricket ground was originally envisaged at North Harbour Stadium as the home of the then to be established North Harbour Cricket Association. With North Harbour Cricket Association subsequently not formed, agreement was then reached between the Stadium Trust and Auckland Cricket Association to endeavour to schedule some Auckland First Class cricket matches on the oval each season.
Whilst this initially resulted in a reasonable schedule of matches, especially in the 2002-03 season, there has been no men's First Class matches held during the 2003-04 season. With only a limited program of matches played in any one season Auckland Cricket Association has reaffirmed Eden Park as their priority venue for both domestic and international First Class cricket played within the Auckland region.
Whilst there is no requirement for First Class cricket there is however a strong demand for cricket facilities at a suitable standard for the local community, school and clubs. All parties are committed to servicing this need and discussions are in progress between the Stadium Trust, Auckland Cricket Association and North Shore City Council to establish these facilities on the North Shore Domain adjacent to North Harbour Stadium.
Whilst the demise of First Class cricket from North Harbour Stadium is disappointing there are significant other opportunities for increased utilisation of the oval field, along with further development of the supporting facilities and land.
Effective immediately the field will be redeveloped as a football field for use by the rugby, rugby league and soccer codes. It is also planned to establish floodlighting and sufficient seating to allow various North Harbour senior teams to play at the stadium without incurring the greater cost of using the main stadium arena.
In removing the cricket block an increased availability of the field for use by the community, including junior sporting teams and non-sporting public events, will also be achieved.