Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Stadiums Strategy Needs Leadership

Three years ago Mayor Len Brown supported the release of a discussion document on better organising Auckland’s four main stadiums: QBE Stadium, Western Springs, Eden Park and Mt Smart. He noted the potential for efficiencies and savings as a result of a coordinated focus. Three years on at last night’s Mission Bay & Kohimarama Residents Association AGM, in response to a strong challenge from a status quo supporter, he said there is no money to properly upgrade Mt Smart and Western Springs is too constrained for growth. He even quoted Brisbane’s Suncorp stadium (the same size as Eden Park) where apparently rugby, league and soccer live in harmony. If he believes all this, why isn’t he leading the change? There are passionately held views and very expensive consequences. Some form of rationalisation seems inevitable. But it won’t happen without new leadership.

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