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North Harbour Stadium is now the only choice

North Harbour Stadium is now the only choice, says Mayor Wood

November 27, 2006

With the government decision this morning largely in favour of Eden Park as the venue for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, North Shore City Mayor George Wood has urged a careful review of the remaining two Auckland stadium options. Mr Wood says the Government's hopes for a waterfront stadium in Auckland appear to be over, but there are clearly concerns over Eden Park's limitations and the high cost, says Mayor Wood.

"This clearly makes our North Harbour Stadium an excellent option, and we'll be continuing with a review of some alternatives for the stadium, including temporary seating and a revision of accessibility options.

"Trevor Mallard and his cabinet colleagues had a difficult task, as they know there are considerable difficulties if they go with Eden Park.

"We are getting huge support for our North Harbour Stadium as the ideal first choice, and it could and should be first choice as a national stadium.

"Let's remember that transport is not the issue at North Harbour. The stadium is only 15 minutes from central Auckland, with only three sets of traffic lights between Victoria Park and the stadium. It's at the junction of two major motorway systems and will be served by the northern busway, which will provide the equivalent of a train service on rubber tyres.

"The stadium has the space, the parking, consents in place and is by far the most economical solution to provide the needed 60,000 capacity for the Rugby World Cup. It's the most used stadium in New Zealand, because it's flexible, changeable and it's there.

"To seriously consider this facility as a top contender would be serving the best interests of rugby, other sporting codes, the people of New Zealand nationally and regionally," says Mr Wood.

Stadium chief executive Brendan O'Connor says he is exploring additional options for the expansion of the stadium including temporary seating, and both could be considered at a cost less than the $385 million for expansion of Eden Park. He expects to have more detailed costings in two to three weeks.

He says the government therefore doesn't need to decide right now, but should carefully consider the whole range of options to be sure of getting the best venue at the most economical cost.


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