Imagine your spirits soaring, seated on the hallowed turf of Eden Park and singing along with music greats such as Sir Paul McCartney and Adele.

The Eden Park Trust has provided an exclusive look at how the iconic ground could be transformed from a rugby and cricket venue into a concert stadium, as part of a new push to host major non-sporting events there.

The Eden Park concert-mode flyover video sweeps above, around and inside a pictured stadium with rows of seats on the ground in front of a stage and giant screen. It also highlights the 50,000-capacity stadium's proximity to public transport.

"The flyover demonstrates the level of operational planning that Eden Park has considered to successfully deliver the proposed cultural, arts and music events for Auckland," Eden Park Trust CEO Nick Sautner told the Herald on Sunday.


"We want fans of Adele, Sir Paul McCartney, the Edinburgh Tattoo, Andre Rieu, opera, eSports and the arts to enjoy Eden Park," Sautner said.

"Cultural, arts, comedy and music events will attract new audiences who may never have attended a rugby or cricket match, all whilst delivering significant economic benefits to the community and city."

Some of the world's biggest artists and promoters want to perform at Eden Park because of its global sporting profile, Sautner said.

The ground has hosted Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup matches.

"We have an extensive network of international music industry promoters and artists – the overwhelming message is they all want to come to Auckland and Eden Park.

"We have a list of local and global artists just waiting for the green light."

But Sautner said a hurdle to hosting concerts at Eden Park was the time it would take to get consent for such events.

"The Unitary Plan allows Eden Park to apply for a resource consent for up to six concerts a year as a discretionary activity. As the name suggests, a discretionary activity is one that the [Auckland] Council has discretion to grant or decline.


"A resource consent application - once lodged - would likely take at least 18 months to make its way through the council and Environment Court processes, unless one of the new 'fast track' mechanisms were selected."

Sautner said Eden Park Trust would take neighbours' concerns into account in any plans for concerts.

"We are committed to working with Auckland Council, New Zealand Tourism, ATEED, local business associations and our neighbourhood to mitigate any impact on the surrounding suburbs and also to maximise the benefits for the country and community."

Sir Paul McCartney performs at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. Photo / Chris Loufte
Sir Paul McCartney performs at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. Photo / Chris Loufte

A new group of more than 850 households, Eden Park supporters club The Hood, received regular updates and benefits, Sautner said.

The Hood member Kerry Copas has lived in Burnley Tce, Sandringham, three streets from Eden Park, for more than 20 years.

Copas "would love to have concerts at Eden Park".

"Someone like Ed Sheeran, or Adele … a Celine Dion. That would be lovely."

The administrator, in her "latter end of 50s", also said "opera would be really cool".

"You'd get another different clientele to just mix it up a bit."

But Eden Park Neighbours' Association president Mark Donnelly said the about 450-strong group would oppose the prospect of concerts at Eden Park.

"It's really just not a suitable ground for it - completely residentially-surrounded, four schools within the immediate environment. And literally houses within 50m of speaker towers," said Donnelly, who has lived about 150m from Eden Park for 27 years.

"It's not just a particular concert, it's the fact of four to five days of stage construction, demolition, sound checks. One or two nights of concerts.

"And obviously during those concert seasons, it's also its busiest peak with both cricket, Super Rugby etc."

Auckland was already well catered for concerts with venues such as Spark Arena and Mt Smart Stadium, Donnelly said.

Auckland Council general manager resource consents Ian Smallburn said: "Auckland Council has never approved a consent for a concert at Eden Park.

"We have only received one such application in the past and it was withdrawn before the consenting process was complete. As per the Unitary Plan, if we did receive such an application, it would be processed as a discretionary activity."

Live Nation Australasia CEO Roger Field said: "We've explored the prospect of utilising Eden Park for concerts in the past, however we've always found the apparent disharmony between the stadium and immediate surrounds (residents) to be an insurmountable challenge.

"Our business moves very quickly and therefore the ability to propose staging events at a venue that has to undergo an extensive and possibly unsuccessful approval process is simply unworkable."

Asked what appealed about the prospect of performing at Eden Park, Field said: "Having attended a Bledisloe Cup game at Eden Park, there's no questioning its convenience to the centre of Auckland.

"Given its status in the sporting world, it's a fantastic facility with great amenity all round. We're always keen on additional capacity, and there's definitely an 'event' feel in any city when there's a major concert on close to its centre."

Field said Mt Smart Stadium has been a successful venue for tours such as Adele's shows and U2's Vertigo show.