Forget A Night at the Museum. If Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner has his way, punters will soon be able camp overnight at the stadium.
Saunter says he hopes to have the "Staydium Glamping" (glamour camping) experience up and running in 12 weeks. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.
Space in an elevated, northeastern corner of the stadium was being measured up when the Weekend Herald visited. Two domes have been ordered, which will feature "direct to dome dining and custom Samsung and Nood Furniture fit outs."
Sautner sees the "Staydium" experience being available 365 nights a year and hopes it will be popular with international tourists. It will use Eden Park's international profile and draw, which New Zealanders under-appreciate, according to the Aussie ex-pat.
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Some people will see Staydium Glamping as a bit of a light-hearted jape. But in its own way, it's about to become part of what is a serious debate.
On Thursday, the Auckland Council's Finance & Performance Committee met in a closed-doors session to hear an update from council chief financial officer Matthew Walker on a proposal that the council take Eden Park's $40 million ASB loan on a commercial rate when its term expires in September, and provide an interest-free $9.8m loan for maintenance upgrades such as new turf, giant video screens and new floodlights.
Like a number of other items on Sautner's wish-list - which include a Roof Walk, zip lining, more night games and six concerts a year - "Staydium Glamping" will need to get RMA approval and consent from the council against a backdrop of well-organised locals lobbying against Saunter's ideas - but also an increasing number who back him.
Sautner argues that if the council grants his wishlist, and lets him continue with recent initiatives that have run from stadium golf to hosting Nitro Circus to a Nelson Mandela exhibition starting in April, Eden Park will be able to stand on its own two feet, no council handouts or loan guarantees required.
A follow-up council meeting on March 19 - which will be public - should give an indication of which way councillors are leaning.