A multi-billion dollar entertainment company listed on the New York Stock exchange has expressed an interest in building a national stadium in central Auckland, costing between $1.1b to $1.5b.
The American global entertainment company Live Nation is involved in running Auckland's Spark Arena. Its New Zealand chairman Stuart Clumpas said the company would be interested in being part of a consortium to build a stadium.
The Scottish-born entertainment industry veteran said the stadium was in the very early stages of deciding where it could be built and what it might look like.
Railway land alongside Spark Arena, owned by iwi Ngāti Whātua, is believed to be the favoured location. Other possible sites are understood to include Victoria Park and Wynyard Quarter.
If you want to build a stadium in the city the bottom line is you have to be extremely close to public transport to move people out in mass numbers
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Clumpas said Live Nation would be interested in the live music part of the stadium. The plan is for a covered rectangular stadium for rugby, rugby league and football, and a venue for big concerts with a capacity of 65,000 fans.
He was upbeat about the possibility of building a stadium alongside Spark Arena to create an entertainment precinct, saying it was a model people throughout the world liked.
"If you want to build a stadium in the city the bottom line is you have to be extremely close to public transport to move people out in mass numbers. To have that site right next to the trains, that's great," Clumpas said.
A stadium report prepared by PwC said case studies for Perth Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub and Spark Arena gave a global funding lens rather than a domestic-only focus.
The report said there were credible international companies that invested in stadiums in partnership with the public sector, citing Live Nation and German-based AEG.
Live Nation Entertainment, formed from the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, has annual revenues of $7.7 billion and booking rights or equity interests in 167 venues.
Last week, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told the Weekend Herald he had been approached by a New Zealand-based consortium to put up money, which could allow a city stadium to be built within five to seven years. He would not name the consortium. Clumpas was unaware of any involvement by Live Nation.
In another development, Auckland Cricket is lobbying councillors ahead of a meeting next Thursday on the 10-year budget that includes a proposal from Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) to build a cricket and multi-purpose ground at Western Springs.
Auckland Cricket chief executive Iain Laxon has told councillors it receives $650,000 in revenue and other significant benefits from Eden Park, its home of more than 100 years, saying the current proposal for Western Springs does not meet its requirements.
"We are, however, open to continuing dialogue with RFA and council about potential development opportunities at Western Springs, or elsewhere, that replicate Auckland Cricket's current benefits at Eden Park, and meet our future requirements," Laxon said.
Councillor Daniel Newman said Auckland Cricket has a long history and an exciting future with Eden Park.
"Auckland Council needs to support that future and step back from any prospect of spending scare ratepayer dollars on a controversial adventure such as a wholesale redesign of Western Springs as a future test match venue," Newman said.
New Zealand Cricket supports the Western Springs proposal with chief executive David White saying a full-sized, oval playing arena would cater for small and large crowds in a relaxed, grass-banked surrounding.
Goff has instructed RFA not to make any significant changes to Auckland's stadiums until the future of Eden Park and a national proposal is clearer.