It is always helpful to have a problem studied by fresh eyes. Businessman Andrew Barnes, chief executive of Perpetual Guardian, was appointed chairman of the Auckland Council's stadium management arm, Regional Facilities Auckland, in November and since then he has come to a firm view on the future of Eden Park. We should keep it, he says.
He has come to this conclusion despite the Eden Park Trust Board's need of another $100 million from ratepayers, $40m to take over a loan it cannot repay and $64m for ongoing maintenance over the next 10 years.
The park's problems are apparent to everyone in Auckland. Its 60,000 seats can be filled only by the All Blacks regularly, limited over cricket occasionally or rock stars, and its suburban location is not suitable for the last.
Consultants EY have advised the council the stadium will lose $80m over the next decade and will need new turf, floodlights and video screens. Nevertheless the new chairman of Regional Facilities Auckland believes it would be more cost effective for the council to commit itself to Eden Park's long-term financial support than build a $1 billion new stadium in the city centre.
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Of course there is a proposal before the council that does not ask the council to pay for a new stadium. A consortium of business people have revived the idea of a stadium on the downtown waterfront, largely beneath the water this time and financed largely by the sale of Eden Park's prime real estate.
The Eden Park Trust did not get behind the idea and nothing has been heard of it since it was presented to the council last year. It does not appear to be even a possibility in the latest plans of Regional Facilities Auckland.
Under Barnes, the agency has issued yet another revised plan for the city's sports venues. This one, its fourth, would see rugby league use Eden Park when the Warriors' lease of Mt Smart Stadium expires in 2028 and, as in previous versions, speedway would forsake Western Springs, enabling that natural bowl to become a test cricket ground. Mt Smart and the North Shore's QBE Stadium at Albany would become "community stadiums", whatever they are.
Auckland has been left with an abundance of spectator sport facilities thanks to the civic pride, or was it rivalry, of its former municipalities that were forcibly united in 2010. It is a good problem to have, certainly preferable to a shortage. But the administrators and the sports that need venues are making heavy weather of re-allocating them.
Cricket has been reluctant to leave Eden Park, rugby league reluctant to go there. Speedway fans want to stay at Western Springs. Sentiment and tradition keep them attached to their familiar facilities.
Yet among rugby fans sentiment is divided on the future of Eden Park. New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Rugby have not been fighting for the survival of their hallowed turf. The idea of a central city venue will be enticing for both.
Perhaps it's time NZ Rugby was enticed to invest in a stadium of its choice in Auckland. That would be the best test of Eden Park's future.