Mayoral candidates on more test cricket for Auckland

Blackcaps Fan cheering on during the ICC Cricket World Cup Semifinal match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park. Photo / Photosport
Blackcaps Fan cheering on during the ICC Cricket World Cup Semifinal match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park. Photo / Photosport

Auckland's next mayor is unlikely to stand in the way of Auckland getting more test cricket.

New Zealand's largest city misses out on most international test cricket because it doesn't have an accredited ground.

While Eden Park has hosted test cricket against India as recently as 2014, it had to receive special approval from the ICC to do so, and most test series in New Zealand do not include matches in Auckland.

Currently, only ODI and T20 matches are scheduled for Auckland over the upcoming summer of cricket.

Most candidates are open to the idea of Western Springs becoming a boutique ground, which could have permanent ICC accreditation.

Waterfront stadium proposals and questions about the future location of the Warriors hang over every stadium reshuffle, so most candidates don't have policy positions.

Phil Goff, Vic Crone, Chloe Swarbrick and John Palino are all leaving the door open to cricket at Western Springs, but that may be conditional on the Speedway agreeing to to relocate.

Susanna Kruger supports changing the stadium strategy.

However, Mark Thomas, David Hay, Tyrone Raumati and Stan Martin all have concerns about how it would be funded.

Mayoral candidates respond: Do you support or oppose changes to the stadium strategy, with relation to ICC accreditation to Auckland cricket venues?

John Palino

If the need is there for this I will support it.

Penny Bright

If Eden Park was used for the ICC World Cup in 2015, I fail to understand why the ICC can't again give accreditation for the same venue.

Susanna Kruger

Support changes to the stadium strategy

Tyrone Raumati

Whilst sporting venues of international standard can potentially be a drawcard for major events, and therefore stimulate economic growth, we must question the role of ratepayers in funding such initiatives. Although business may benefit from an ICC cricket ground, as may the sport of cricket itself, I question how benefits will flow ultimately to communities. I believe there are more pressing issues demanding investment from the council, and which would result in more tangible improvements to the liveability of our city. That said, council could have a role in encouraging investment from the private sector and other sources, integrating such a proposal into broader community development strategies, and considering options for a multi-sport venue that will get our increasingly diverse citizenry active.

Mark Thomas

Resolving whether we need/can afford new regional facilities has to involve looking at the existing facilities particularly those that are not well utilised, and how we can get greater private sector funding of any new development. The current mayor hasn't sorted this but I will lead a plan to fix it as we have done in my council ward.

Phil Goff

It's desirable of course, if possible, to have an ICC accredited cricket ground. I understand discussions are underway to do this at Western Springs if Speedway decides to vacate that area.

Chloe Swarbrick

The Stadium Strategy will transform Western Springs Stadium into an ICC accredited cricket ground. That's costing $12 million dollars, and without access to the data on which the decision was made, but having talked to numerous Aucklanders about it and knowing the income our city can generate from sporting events, I don't intend to oppose it.

David Hay

I can't honestly answer that: I don't know what having an ICC accredited ground involves - how much that would it cost, how often it would be used.

Vic Crone

I think we do need to look at this and it's something the stadium strategy needs to address.

Stan Martin

I would support changes, but it would depend on the details of those changes. Eden park is a cricket ground which has sold its "soul" to become more multi purpose in order to increase profits. Why should the council try to help cricket unless it trys to help itself with a financial contribution to any future stadium strategy?

Patrick Brown

Chose not to answer this question.

- Newstalk ZB

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