Plans for a first ever underwater rugby stadium? - Ruck

Plans for a first ever underwater rugby stadium?

Proposals for a new stadium in Auckland began in 2006 during the run-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but nothing eventuated at the time.

Instead, Eden Park was upgraded at a cost of $256 million to make it the centrepiece venue of the tournament.


Eden Park is currently Auckland’s largest stadium, but it is old and in need of constant upgrades and maintenance estimated to cost $250 million over the next 15 years, assuming work remains on budget.

These ongoing costs, along with accessibility, are the main factors driving another push to build a new stadium in Auckland.

Previous plans for a downtown stadium on Auckland’s waterfront were brought undone by height restrictions on buildings to avoid blocking sightlines of the harbour.

This has led to an amazing design by New Zealand architect Phil O’Reilly to build a stadium below the water line of the harbour.

•Government offers to build a waterfront stadium in 2006 for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
• The plan doesn’t go ahead and Eden Park is instead redeveloped with a $256m upgrade to make it the tournament’s centrepiece.
• The debate flares up again in 2016 after officials questioned the future of Eden Park and Goff pushed the railway site in his successful mayoral campaign.
• Goff cites $250 million would need to be spent on Eden Park over the next 15 years to maintain it.
• Meanwhile debate rages over how to use the city’s other stadiums – notably North Harbour Stadium, Western Springs and Mt Smart – and how sports should be catered for, including rugby, football, cricket, speedway and rugby league.
• Rich-lister and Warriors owner Eric Watson offers to help fund a new downtown stadium, which would be the Warriors’ new home.
• Auckland Council commissions a major report into the city’s stadium strategy. The report is due to hit the Mayor’s desk in the coming months.
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