On the eve of tonight's sold-out All Blacks test against the Wallabies, the Weekend Herald found most residents in the streets closest to the stadium want more big events and most welcome concerts.
If word on the streets around Eden Park is a gauge of things to come then the Black Caps will play India on Sunday night on Auckland anniversary weekend.
Of 20 owners of homes on the streets closest to the stadium who spoke to the Weekend Herald, all but one said they supported the one-off T20 match.
Eden Park is not permitted under Auckland's planning document, the Unitary Plan, to hold matches on Sunday nights and has sought resource consent to hold it as a one-off.
Though our door knock offers no more than an unscientific snapshot, it is in tune with submissions received by Auckland Council, of which 96 per cent of 937 submissions received were in favour of the Sunday night game.
Popularity is one thing, but the hearing (a date is yet to be set) will scrutinise details of how Eden Park Trust plans to mitigate noise and traffic from the match that could last until midnight because of a late start to fit in with a huge television audience in India.
Fewer residents were keen on regular Sunday night fixtures with nine open to the idea and five dead against.
Perhaps surprisingly, 12 backed Eden Park as a concert venue, while five were strongly opposed.
Most residents said they were happy to have the stadium as a neighbour, particularly those who had moved to the area in recent times.
"We bought 12 years ago. We knew what we were getting into, one resident on Walters Road, said. "There is a lot of politics. For us, there are issues around traffic management but the kids love going to games and we get free tickets."
Residents spoke on condition of anonymity, such are the local passions about the use and future of the stadium.
A selection of comments:
"We love Eden Park. It's part of the fun of living in a big city."
"We support the stadium but traffic management can be a problem. My partner is a midwife."
"New Zealand isn't super rich, so I feel that money is better spent developing Eden Park than building a whole new stadium somewhere else."
"I don't mind concerts, within reason. We have to make more use of the stadium."
"We are happy to support the stadium but not for night events. It's not that sort of neighbourhood."
Time and noise restrictions have long been in place for the stadium which began life as a cricket ground in 1903 and is closely surrounded by villas.
Current controls were set in 2016 as part of the Unitary Plan process where a panel sought to balance commercial interests with those of residents.
There are two groups which claim to represent locals, each with opposing points of view.
The Eden Park Neighbour's Association is the oldest and has worked closely with the Trust but relations have chilled under the stadium's current management. This group leads efforts to mitigate impacts of proposed new activities.
The Eden Park Residents Association supports more events and has close ties with management.
Jose Fowler recently resigned as chairman of the group to concentrate on seeking election in October to the Eden-Albert Local Board on a platform of relaxing planning rules on Eden Park.
And the group's deputy chair, Victoria Toon, was appointed to the Eden Park Trust Board last year.
Fowler said his main goal is to have planning rules changed to automatically allow more events at Eden Park. "I'm hoping to fight from within by seeking election to the Eden-Albert Local Board."
The Residents association was set up in December 2005 after New Zealand won hosting rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup to counter local voices described by Fowler as "moaners". "We felt they were not the majority voice."
Fowler said he wanted to help create a platform that would make Eden Park self sufficient. "We can only do that by relaxing the rules a bit."
In its submission supporting Sunday night cricket, the Residents Association said 96 per cent of its claimed 345 members supported the match and did not raise any possible adverse effects.
In contrast, the Neighbours' Association, which claims to have about 440 members, continues to lead the opposition. It opposed the Sunday night cricket match, though its chairman, Mark Donnelly, a former Auckland city councillor, said they were open to discussing with Auckland Council and Eden Park more effective mitigation of adverse effects.
Donnelly didn't want to make further public comment but has previously said that the Resource Management Act is about effects. "It's not a democratic system, it's based on effects."
Under chief executive Nick Sautner, Eden Park Trust has been innovative in finding new revenue streams such as zip-lining from the top of the South Stand, rooftop walks and "Staydium" glamping but holding big events is where the real money is.
He wants more, and to have concerts and claims it is discriminating against the arts that it can't or at least can't morte easily. In theory Eden Park could hold up to six a year but must get individual concent for each.
Under the former Aussie Rules football player's management, the Trust has reached out to neighbours, setting up a supporters Club, The Hood, holding BBQs, regular briefings and giving freebies to members.
While it has been embraced by many, some see it as an attempt to divide the neighbourhood to the advantage of stadium operators. One resident described the giveaways as "baubles" and said promises of opening green space for residents for activities such as walking their dogs hasn't eventuated.
What stadium management regard as good neighbourliness was described by one resident as "almost cynical".
Another resident, a member of the Neighbours' Association, said she was surprised to get a call from Trust management seeing if they could change her mind after she opposed a proposed charity concert because of the absence of acoustic fencing.
"It did seem a bit confronting. We keep getting [the message] that we are bad neighbours."
Helen Clark, a former Prime Minister, has lived near the stadium for decades. She did not make a submission regarding the proposed Sunday night cricket match but last year opposed the "Million Babies" Waitangi Day LifePod Appeal concert which was abandoned.
Her concerns were noise, set-up and take-down disruptions and that it would be a "Trojan horse" for more concerts.
"Once you let one go then there is the next and the next and it becomes established use," she told Newztalk ZB at the time.
She saw Eden Park as a sports stadium with downtown a better site for "an entertainment venue at scale."
She favours affordable housing as an alternative use of the 10 hectare site.
John Tamihere, mayoral candidate and former Labour cabinet minister, wants to upgrade the stadium and for it to become a multi-events venue, including for concerts.
He would explore developing "a self-funding covered multisport venue" on the number two ground.
Tamihere is understood to have told the Warriors he wants them to move to Eden Park.
Phil Goff, Auckland mayor says Eden Park will be Auckland's international stadium for at least the next 10 years. "While I would favour a city centre stadium close to transport hubs and all the facilities used by fans in pre and post-match functions, the cost of over $1.5 billion is currently prohibitive and not a priority ahead of infrastructure for transport, housing and the environment.
"For a stadium to pay its way, it needs to cater for all football sports – rugby, league and soccer – and to be used for concerts. Ideally it should be a rectangle, not an oval, be well connected to public transport, and not be close to local residences if used consistently for concerts.
"At the point where major expenditure is needed to upgrade Eden Park, the hard decision of rebuilding there or in the central city will need to be made. That is some years off."
Eden Park Financials
Received $63 million from Auckland Council to replace bank loans and fund maintenance. The loans would be repaid in the event the stadium was sold.
The Trust board also cannot afford about $65 million of maintenance needed during the next decade.
It's 2018 annual report showed a small operating profit which after depreciation turned into a loss of $7.6 million. The report said the loss showed the challenge the Trust faced in achieving long term financial stability.
It is registered as a charitable trust. Its beneficial owners are Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby.