19 Oct 2018

Eden Park rules mean big concerts turned away

7:48 pm on 19 October 2018

Auckland has missed out on concerts by Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, Eminem and Billy Joel this year because the rules governing Eden Park are too strict, the park's management says.

 Mt Eden Park Stadium. View from Mt Eden Summit

Management said it was sad to turn away the several international acts that had tried to come to Eden Park. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The backers of a multipurpose stadium proposed for Auckland's waterfront said the city was missing out on world class entertainment because it did not have the right venue.

But the Eden Park trust board chief executive, Nick Sautner, said it was not Eden Park that was the problem but the strict rules governing it.

A maximum of six concerts are allowed each year subject to gaining resource consent.

It was sad to turn away the several international acts that had tried to come to Eden Park, he said.

"I'd be encouraging both government and council to work with Eden Park to enable, for the next 10 years, those events to come to Auckland," Mr Sautner said.

If the new stadium went ahead it would be with private money and the developers would have the right to bowl Eden Park and develop the land.

It was not up to the park's trust board to take a view on its future, that was up to the council, Mr Sautner said.

But his personal feeling was the park's 115-year history was worth a lot.

"Eden Park has a lot of mana. A number of iconic moments in New Zealand sport have been held at Eden Park and I think a lot of people both locally and that would be disappointed if Eden Park wasn't too continue," he said.

Many of those moments had involved Auckland and All Black great, Sir John Kirwan.

Sir John said, though Eden Park held many beautiful memories for him, it was time for a change.

"It's past its used-by date... I just think Auckland would really benefit from having a world class stadium. It's like boxing with the big boys," he said.

The Waterfront Consortium, the group pushing for the stadium, said Aucklanders no longer wanted to watch rugby in the rain or miss out on top acts and a new stadium would fix that, boosting the economy.

The new venue would come at no cost to the ratepayer because it was being developed privately, he said.

But Massey University economics lecturer, Sam Richardson, said there would be a cost - particularly because the valuable land on Bledisloe Wharf could be used for other things.

"There is no evidence that building a new facility actually generates economic activity anything greater than the original facility did," he said.