I went to see Paul McCartney at the end of last year and the Foo Fighters a few weeks back. Both amazing shows. But I couldn't help but think 'why the bloody hell aren't these concerts at Eden Park'? Why aren't the biggest and best shows on at our biggest and best venue?
I live a hundred metres from Eden Park. It's a great place to be. But it's so quiet. It'd be great if we could get some more events in there. Games, gigs, gladiators - whatever.
There's a perception that the neighbours don't want activity at the stadium. But in my experience the locals love it. Everyone I know in the area cites Eden Park as one of the reasons they moved here. There is inconvenience for locals but generally people celebrate the happiness the stadium brings to large numbers of their fellow human beings, As Spock said ' Logic dictates the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few'.
Eden Park's attitude helps. The Hood is a new initiative focused on the support of the neighbourhood. Residents who live within The Hood receive regular updates and benefits. New CEO Nick Sautner of the Eden Park trust says 'People have been buying in The Hood since 1903 to live in the area for the accessibility to domestic and world-class live events. This is no different to families buying homes in specific areas to gain access to school zones and for convenience to work and transport. The Hood has great schools, transport, cafes, restaurants and New Zealand's national stadium'.
Eden Park's consultation and communication has become really good of late. They are there to listen. They want to make it work. Most people do.
For me it's simple. Eden Park is our national stadium. It cost hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate. The developments around the 2011 Rugby World Cup created excellent access and transport. She's super central too. Great for people of the North, South, East and West. So let's use the place. Let's put some gigs in there.
Brent Eccles Head of Eccles Entertainment our largest concert promoter is a great New Zealander. He told me 'I could put The Rolling Stones on at half time at a test match but not a stand alone gig. We set up a stadium with the biggest capacity but don't allow the biggest events to play there. It's the most famous Stadium in NZ but we don't let famous artist perform there. Maybe we should try comedy!
CEO Nick Sautner adds 'The world's biggest artists and promoters want to perform at Eden Park due to its global sporting profile, seating capacity, transport connectivity, proximity to the city and facilities that can cater for all demographics.
With Kingsland and Dominion Road developing as thriving business and retail precincts, they provide the perfect pre-and-post event destinations for locals and international visitors.
We are committed to working with New Zealand Tourism, ATEED and our neighbourhood to maximise the benefits for the country, community and also to mitigate any impact on the residential amenity''.
It's not just the main stadium. The outer oval is one of the best places on planet earth. Especially three weeks ago when the The Radio Hauraki/ NZME XI beat The Rock/ Mediaworks XI in one of the most spectacular super overs in the history of intercompany cricket.
Back to gigs. Last year the opening ceremony of the World Masters Games was held at Eden Park. It had the mayor speaking, it had lights, music and everything a concert has and there wasn't a single complaint. A great event.
So if the people in charge of resource consents could just flick 'Concerts at Eden Park' from 'no' to 'sweet as' that would be great. Thanks.
Eden Park is our national stadium. It's an asset. We are lucky to have it. So let's fIll the grey seats with sport and culture good times.
Party at my house before the gig. You're all invited.