Demolition Larry wants Eden Park and Mt Smart leveled

‘Demolition’ Larry Williams wants to destroy Mt Smart and Eden Park…all for a waterfront stadium.

A new stadium on Auckland’s waterfront continues to gather momentum.

The latest support for a waterfront stadium is the Blues franchise who say they would move away from Eden Park. Simply, that makes sense when you look at the small attendance numbers for the Blues games.

The interesting thing about the latest push for a waterfront stadium is that we are being told that private funding can more or less get the stadium built.

This is good, because stadiums are sinking holes. Stadiums rarely make money. Eden Park is a financial basket case. Ratepayers should not be left to fund the ongoing costs on any new stadium.

Until we see the colour of the private investors money, the jury is out. However it is reasonable to expect some public money going into a new stadium for very good reasons.  

At the Commonwealth Games in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur I asked Victoria Premier Jeff Kennett what the rationale was on spending huge sums on sports stadiums in Melbourne. His answer was telling. Kennett said, “It’s not a cost, it’s an investment in the future of the city”. Kennett believed there was an obligation to the future of Melbourne to invest in sport stadiums.

You will note that today, Melbourne is the envy of the world with state of the art sports stadiums downtown – close to public transport, restaurants, bars, entertainment. It’s history, but what a great shame that councillors and the self-centred, agenda-driven Eden Park lobby rejected its obligation to the future of Auckland when they had the chance.

Rejecting a waterfront stadium offered on a plate for the 2011 Rugby World Cup lacked foresight. It was an appalling decision.

To my mind, a stadium that has architectural merit for around 30,000 people on the waterfront is logical and exciting. Demolish Eden Park and Mt Smart and sell the land for houses.

A stadium on the waterfront is an investment in the future of the city. It’s inevitable, the longer the delay, the greater the cost. Local politicians need to make this happen.

Have these fools all forgotten this little campaign?

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 10.36.14 PM

That’s right. They all went out opposing the port expansion because a few ships would block views.

Well, imagine what the views would look like with a bloody great stadium plonked on Queens Wharf. The very same people who signed up to that campaign are now campaigning to plonk an ugly white elephant on the waterfront.

No stadium can ever be built without the ratepayers being on the hook. That will mean even higher rates increases.

Never mind the 18m height restriction and the view shaft rules protecting views of the volcanic cones.


– NZ Herald


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  • jaundiced

    I don’t understand the obsession to build a sports stadium on the waterfront.
    The waterfront should be open to the public for their enjoyment of our harbour, but plonking a sports stadium there? It will be used intermittently by crowds of people who haven’t come to enjoy the harbour but to watch a sports game.
    It will preclude any other development that will make far better use of the space.

  • BR

    AAH! This must be the joke.


  • Abjv

    It can be built with private money. No public money involved. But it will run at a loss. Shades of The Sky City Convention Centre? What concession will the private investors want in return? A go-easy on some resource consent applications maybe?

    • biscuit barrel

      Cant be done with private money, or it would have happened that way. Dunedin , a huge drain on ratepayers. Christchurch no one coming forward even with a big insurance payout due for old damaged one.
      The only only way to make real money to pay for a stadium is to get a share of the television rights, and thats not going to happen unless you are Manchester United or Boston patriots.

      • Abjv

        Exactly. The only way it would work with private money is if it was bundled with a concession somewhere else that would not otherwise have happened, and the value of that concession more than compensates for the risk inherent with the stadium project and the ongoing loss. A la the Sky City convention centre deal. What we don’t know is what Len is promising them, or what they are asking for. Agree that a share of the TV rights for Blues or Warriors wouldn’t be crawling over broken glass for.

  • Aucky

    In 2011 I visited Wellington aboard a cruise ship and moored right by the Cake Tin and from the ocean aspect it’s an absolute eyesore.

    What the hell are we thinking even contemplating building this monstrosity on our harbour after soundly rejecting an extension to the container wharf? I rather suspect that heavy corporate interests are at play here. Eric Watson, Vodafone (the Warriors Connection) and Larry Williams as one of their media mouthpieces. I believe the planned capacity is 30,000 which is next to useless when international rugby matches attract crowds of 45,000+. If Larry wants Eden Park bowled the largest stadium in the country will hold just 30,000 people – so it’s goodbye to any further RWCs, Cricket World Cups or any other major international sports events. They will go straight to Sydney or Melbourne.

    We are being ‘snowed’ with some very sus info.

    • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

      Eric Watson would not put his hand in his own pocket for a parking meter.

  • Wheninrome

    The “Cake Tin” in Wellington is in a great spot, near rail, but certainly not on the waterfront blocking everyone’s access and views.
    Eden Park was swamp land, it performs well for it’s job it has huge tradition attached to it. Years ago I was involved with some overseas school children playing cricket, from England, Sth Africa and Australia, they were absolutely in awe when they got to go to Eden Park for the dinner, looking out over the field, they were thinking that one day that is where they would play, it was huge for them.
    Commercialism is all very well but let’s not forget what Eden Park means in the sporting arena.
    Maybe if the “Blues” won more often they would be more attached.
    Everyone who moves to Mt Eden knows that it is there and that if they are very near there will be disruption, it is nothing new.
    edit: views from the land noting above comment.

    • rantykiwi

      The “Cake Tin” struggles financially.

      • biscuit barrel

        Eden park struggles even after a new stadium was given free.

        • Intrigued

          It’s not hard to see why Eden Park is struggling. On its numbers only 1 Allblack test, 2 Cricket World Cup games and the NRL 9s had attendance greater than 13,000 in their last financial year and they are around $52Million in debt!
          Hard to see how they can continue at this rate!

  • LesleyNZ

    It is mainly media and the sportsmad lot who want the waterfront stadium. They are really pushing this campaign personally. I reckon every time I have heard Tony Veitch he has been banging on about a waterfront stadium trying to convince his audience that it is a great idea. Spinoff had a good photoshop of what a waterfront stadium would look like – shown from the angle that would be the view for those of us who are on land. Note that very few images of what a waterfront stadium would look like are shown at this angle. They are either aerial or a view from the water. A stadium built on our waterfront would be so ugly.

    Larry – forget it.

    EDIT: – Larry – this isn’t an April Fool’s joke is it?

  • Jman

    It’s hard enough to get down to the waterfront just with current normal traffic flows. Anytime the stadium put on an event the traffic snarlups would be legendary. I can’t see how it can possibly work there without some major new transport links being put in place first.

    • biscuit barrel

      Apparently the only worthwhile place is on top of the old railway station. The water front location is the bait to get everyone on board, then there is the switch

      • Platinum Fox

        Goof’s suggestion was the area behind the old railway station, which is currently occupied by a yard used for car parking, sidings occupied by the carriages from Red Len’s trainset during the day and the platform now used by the Northern Explorer since AT suggested that TranzRail needed to upgrade the air con system in Britomart if it wanted to continue to use the downtown station as the terminus for its long distance train.
        The cost structure for a stadium behind the old railway station would include ground rent as that area is now owned by Ngati Whatua, so more expensive than most alternatives.

  • Pita

    It should be remembered that not every New Zealander is addicted to sport.

    To erect an edifice, with limited use, in the heart of Auckland’s
    shining crown would be environmental vandalism.

  • duve

    With the number of spectators they have been getting, the Blues should be playing their home games at Western Springs.

  • JohnO

    The real fish hook in the harbourside stadium development is the necessity to remove the port from Auckland to either Whangarei or Tauranga for lack of space. The port brings in 5 billion dollars per year to the Auckland economy. Why would we want to take that fountain of prosperity out of the Auckland economy? The harbourside stadium works for Wellington because it did not destroy the port. It does not work for Auckland because building a harbourside stadium destroys the port.

    • Mine it,Drill it,Sell it.

      One of the biggest problems this country has is when rugby is involved all those in power act like drug addicts on heroin.No thought is given to the long term effects or costs.When the final whistle blew in the 2011 world cup all those in power left with the crowds of supporters and left the costs for rate payers and a revamped stadium at Eden Park unable to comply with International Cricket requirements.

      The lost opportunity when the waterfront stadium was proposed by Mallard and Clark was Carlaw Park location with rail and direct connection to the Auckland motorway system,bars and restaurants in the CBA and Parnell.

      A pedestrian over bridge over Stanley Street would have allowed direct access to the tunnel’s under Albert Park and a five minute walk to Queen Street.

      Now the bit I can not recall from this time was what Clark and Mallard were trying to take our attention away from ?

    • RealKiwi

      I agree
      To these Muppets loosing a deep water port would be OK for the sake of sport, it just shows they are in either in cloud cuckoo land or conflicted.

  • Tony

    In the UK the stadiums are generally owned by the clubs. Why do councils and government (taxpayers) become involved in building and owning Stadiums?
    Yes perhaps it should be stadia but….

    • Platinum Fox

      I think you’ll find that most if not all the major stadiums globally are built with local, state or central government as the major source of capital. In the US, the cities and states attract and keep their professional teams by building venues, be they stadiums or arenas. Even baseball teams which play a minimum of 81 games at home each season have homes built by taxpayers.
      The argument for taxpayers building venues is based on the somewhat nebulous and difficult to prove “economic benefit” of having the team located in the region, as most venues struggle to cover their operating costs though the team owners (particularly in the USA) make money from sales of tickets and memorabilia to fans and a share of the television rights.

  • Superman

    The reason why the Blues don’t attract large crowds is not the stadium. It’s the Blues.

    • biscuit barrel

      Even when they were winners they didnt get much home crowd support. Part of the problem is night time games for TV benefit.
      You find UK football still has afternoon games, same goes for hugely popular AFL.
      Tell the Blues unless they get average home game attendance of 15,000 or whatever number is required for private finances to make it work, no can do.
      Set a target and make them wor for it.

  • Peej

    Williams is like all the other Auckland radio jocks (especially of the sports variety) who want a new flash 30,000 seat stadium. They know for sure no matter how hard tickets are to come by for rugby tests in Auckland they’ll still get them – probably free. For all the misgivings with Eden Park 50,000 can fit in for big games. Maybe the jocks want a stadium for elite audiences.

  • waldopepper

    surely it would be easier to get the transport right at eden park than build an entire new stadium ?

    • PhantomsDoc

      You don’t live in Auckland, do you?

  • This whole thing gives me the gyp.

    Mega millions were poured into Eden park thanks mostly to Mike Lee, the well connected Eden Park Trust Board and a few politicians.

    However Mallards proposal was short sighted under researched and would have been a lemon given the lack of preparation, considering he must have had his epiphany while on the john.

    North Harbour stadium was originally built with the idea that it could have had one side pulled down and been turned into a world class facility yet again Mallard and co knocked it back because it would be too hard for people to get too yet at the same time the muppets were building the northern busway and there was parking for Africa around the place along with a easy access to two motorway ramps.

    Drove past the stadium the other day and saw the cheap side was being pulled down. I’m guessing they will not be investing in the original concept to turn it into a 55 thousand seat stadium but are probably putting some seats and covers in to make it as claustrophobic as Eden Park now is.