Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Warriors' boss backing waterfront stadium

Think about an Auckland waterfront stadium being the centrepiece of the 2027 Rugby World Cup, hosting rugby league World Cups, football tournaments, concerts and a variety of other exciting events.

Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle repeated his vision for sport in the city as the push for a multi-code, multi-purpose downtown hub gathered steam.

He thought a stadium with a capacity between 30-40,000 would be ideal and would cost somewhere around $600m and take about four years to construct.

That could be funded through appeals to the government and the sale of Eden Park and Mt Smart while Doyle was sure downtown retailers would wear a rates increase if 60,000 people were going past their shops each weekend.

"If Auckland had a smaller stadium and was sold out regularly, that is a sensible supply and demand model," Doyle said.

"I think it would be an absolutely fantastic outcome for Auckland and all sporting codes and events.

"The secret is integration. If you're going to invest money you want use out of it and a return on your investment."

Eden Park, Mt Smart and North Harbour Stadium hosted small numbers of games each season but if those games were all at one venue, Auckland would have a viable stadium.
Sport and other events had to be a fan experience from the time people left home to the time they got home again.

"There was an opportunity lost before the 2011 RWC but surely because it's lost once doesn't mean it's lost forever and that's what I have been saying," Doyle added.

"Someone from Auckland should be looking to the longterm and a concerted plan for the city's sports grounds."

- NZ Herald

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