Sports Talk: Eden Park & the future of test cricket


As the NZ cricket season winds to a close with the Ford Trophy winding up yesterday with an easy win to the Auckland Aces over Canterbury and the Black Caps winding up their NZ summer campaign last week against England, there still remains the question around the use of Eden Park as a test ground. Eden Park is never going to be remotely close to even a third full with the best possible crowd that a New Zealand cricket test can muster, even less so with the ticket prices of up to $45 for a single day or $105 for all 5 days of a 5 day test. This leaves only one other realistic option: finding another suitable location for international test matches within Auckland. Auckland Cricket is pushing for a test during next summers test series against India, despite the England test match only attracting a daily average of 7,600 over the 5 days. It is a far better option to move the tests to a smaller venue and fill it for a great atmosphere than 1/4 fill an echo chamber with people dotted around it’s perimeter with 10 empty seats between each person.

Sportsfreak have given their take on Eden Park and Auckland’s other options for test venues:

read more ….>

Although I still think there is one other plausible option in Auckland that has been missed, and that is Victoria Park in the CBD. Vic Park would be an ideal location for a test venue being slap bang in the middle of the city close to public transport, dining, bars and just a quick walk for people to pop down after work or even during their lunch breaks to watch an International cricket match.

Via the Beige Brigade:

The VIP project is a vision that will see the green space of Victoria Park developed into an international sports and festival space.

The space would not only see international Test cricket return to Auckland after a 7-year hiatus due to a lack of adequate facilities, but would also cater for outdoor concerts, festivals and events.

What would be …better than knocking off work a couple of hours early and strolling down to Vic Park to sip on a beer in the sun, parked up on the embankment (with your tie off and your jandals on)?

Public use of the park would not be compromised as the only permanent addition would be some snazzy new player/back-of-house facilities and a grass embankment.

Click on the images to expand

Vic Park

Vic 2

VicYou can view the full concept proposal PDF here


Thanks to the Beige Brigade


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • And all the while, traffic roars past on the motorway to the Harbour Bridge; no thank you. Jeremy Wells’ suggestion to use land at the Tank Farm was far more sensible.

    But as one who attended all five days of the Eden Park test, I thoroughly enjoyed it IN SPITE OF the limitations of the ground.

    • Tony V

      Does traffic “roaring” past the Basin Reserve detract from the experience there? I think this is a brilliant concept, and I for one would definitely wander down after work to enjoy the cricket..

    • Travis Poulson

      Traffic roaring past is a non issue, and the traffic on the flyover is only southbound now with the tunnel in place.

  • Gazzaw

    The Tank Farm concept is right on the button and besides Victoria Park is a much needed recreation area for CBD dwellers and workers.

    • Travis Poulson

      I don’t think neither you nor le sphincter took any notice of the second picture, the open park use concept. It can still be used as a rec area when not in use for a test match, not to mention a much lower cost to get up and running than the tank farm concept would be.

      • Gazzaw

        Agreed Trav but regardless the administrators are going to be understandably precious about their turf and in particular the pitch area even if they do have ‘drop in’ pitches. Even the maintenance and growth of those drop in pitches requires a lot of dedicated space at the venue. I maybe wrong but I think Eden Park has up to eight under cultivation at any one time plus the massive equipment required to lift 20 metres of turf weighing 20+ tonnes into place. Then there’s all the workplace stuff for the groundsmen, maintenance staff plus their gear. I can’t see that local firms or families will be able to just hit the park willy-nilly at lunchtimes or in the evenings for a quick game of touch or cricket as they do now.

        • Travis Poulson

          Well sadly, neither concept is likely to happen any time soon as Auckland Cricket is tied to Eden Park for the forseeable future. I’ll also be interested to see how well Eden Park is filled out when New Zealand and Australia host the Cricket World Cup in 2015

          • What makes Cricket Auckland’s loyalty to Eden Park even odder is that they’ve been increasingly shafted there over the years. Having to shift matches because the Blues have got first dibs on it, and then having the boundaries shortened during the RWC upgrde, which also made No 2 ground even more of a postage stamp.

          • Travis Poulson

            It just didn’t look right watching the domestic cricket final yesterday, it looked like they had to play on the front lawn of Eden Park because nobody would let them play inside. Also noted the sad turnout for the final.

          • Gazzaw

            We’re talking about real cricket though Trav. Eden Park will only fill for World Cup if England or Australia play there which I would doubt. If the Aussies have anything to do with the draw Eden Park is likely to secure Ireland v Netherlands or Zimbabwe v Canada.

          • Travis Poulson

            Yes sorry, I forgot to add “as a side note”.

  • le sphincter

    So a $300 mill plus venue has no atmosphere ?
    We can see that they want the ratepayers or taxpayers to cough up another $10 mill to make Victoria park or Western Springs or wherever a cosy little venue, used about twice a year.

    Blind freddy can see that test cricket matches dont draw crowds. Who cares theres plenty of empty seats, hello the players are the attraction. And the bums on counches are what matters, as the TV audience is what pays for it all.

    • Gazzaw

      Not thinking again l’arsehole. Have you considered the economics of opening up a 50,000 seat venue for 9,000 punters? Blind freddy can see that.

    • johnbronkhorst

      Aucklanders don’t show up!!!!!! Black caps in a position to win a test series against world 2nd best. Even Ian Botham was shocked. How about we move all northern test matches to Hamilton for 5 years and wait until Aucklanders BEG to have one back.

      • Gazzaw

        John, everyone is too flat out earning a crust here Mon-Sat & sometimes Sundays to spend all day at the cricket. We have a big Indian & Sri Lankan community here and even those cricket-mad fanatics are too busy to turn out. If we can manage a couple of hours in front of the big screen we consider ourselves lucky. Sports have to happen at night for Aucklanders – note the excellent Blues crowds & full stadiums for the Breakers. Same with that Sunday – good weather and a last opportunity to get to the beach with the family before winter sets in. Mate, if Hamilton can sustain it then go for it – enjoy it while you can until the 21st century turns up.

    • le sphincter

      Do you mean the heating or cooling costs?

      You are truly mad if you think they have the same security or food venues for 50000 as they do for 5000. They probably only have 3 gates open, with one person at each, instead of 15 gates

      • Gazzaw

        No I’m not truly mad spinky and I think that I understand that you don’t quite need the same number of facilities for 5000 people as you do for 50000 but you still can’t cover anywhere even near the basic overheads with the revenue from that number of people. Multiply that by five days and you have lost a sizeable chunk of money.

  • It could work, sort of. The problem is not the motorway, it is the roads surrounding it. University Oval works really well in Dunedin. The trick is to size it for 10 — 20 K and use it throughout the cricket season.

    The tank farm lacks trees, and is harder to get to.

    Ideally, you could then put a running track in Eden Park and multi-use it for rugby and soccer, since the League boys have ruined Mt Smart as a track venue :-)

  • Patrick

    Would be fantastic – bets could be taken on how many windscreens would be broken on the Vic Park flyover & how many crashes would be caused. Would make the venue unique around the world