Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Eagles concert - good example of controversial stadiums strategy

The concert could take Mt Smart Stadium out of commission for at least two weeks.
The concert could take Mt Smart Stadium out of commission for at least two weeks.

The sell out of two concerts by The Eagles at Mt Smart Stadium has been put forward as a good example of a controversial stadiums strategy.

Auckland councillors this morning have been discussing public feedback on the strategy, which is largely opposed.

The strongest opposition came to the proposal to move speedway from Western Springs to Mt Smart Stadium.

There was also strong public support for the Warriors staying at Mt Smart and cricket staying at Eden Park.

The regional strategy and policy committee heard it would cost $60 million to $70 million to upgrade Mt Smart for rugby league.

Regional Facilities Auckland chief executive Robert Domm argued in favour of the strategy, which the council body has been working on for four years.

He said concerts would stay at Mt Smart and Western Springs.

The two Eagles concerts at Mt Smart had both sold out on the same day, he said.
The concerts had sold 66,000 tickets, 57 per cent from outside Auckland.

Part of the strategy involved creating a grassed embankment at Western Springs, said Mr Domm, adding it would benefit concert goers and plans for a boutique cricket ground.

Councillors recommended that Regional Facilities note the public feedback in the development and implementation of the strategy.

Some councillors, however, oppose the strategy.

Councillor John Watson said the strategy lacked public support and financial details.
He said it was clear the Warriors wanted to stay at Mt Smart.

The $70 million plus figure to upgrade Mt Smart was exaggerated and based on crowds of 30,000 plus.

"The average Warriors' crowd for 2012-2013 was 13,219 rendering the construction of new stands unnecessary."

Mt Smart, he said, could be upgraded for $10 million to $13 million.

A motion by councillor Cameron Brewer for capital and operational costs for the strategy being considered as part of next year's 10-year budget review was passed.

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