COMMENT:

Surely it can't just be me that sees the absolute absurdity of Eden Park and its financial woes.

For those in Auckland it's a city-wide disgrace that we should all be embarrassed about. For those outside of Auckland we can laugh because it's just another example of dysfunction that sits along side things like traffic congestion and house prices.

Eden Park needs $100 million, some for loans, some for maintenance. Eden Park is in a world of fiscal trouble because you've never seen such a major facility so hamstrung and hobbled from actually doing what it was supposed to do.

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Just a week ago Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin announced it had its best year ever - more than twice the population of Dunedin had gone to it. The venue has racked up millions in revenue - and the forecast is nothing but upbeat.

Wellington's downtown facility is widely praised, used and supported. On a side note, if I was Westpac I wouldn't have walked away from the sponsorship last week. Loyalty and longevity are valuable assets, and being there from the start is worth its weight in gold, I would have thought. But it's their money I guess.

Anyway, stadiums can, and are, done well - unless you're Auckland.

Too many people hate Eden Park, and too many other people want to whine about Eden Park. Michael Chugg, who's Elton John's promoter and a legend in the game, pretty much called it as it is last week. He thinks the place is a joke, you can't get access, the rules are ridiculous, the costs even more so.

India didn't play cricket there because the lights would be on too late, under normal circumstances you couldn't make this stuff up. The biggest side in the world in a city with a large Indian population - why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?

One of the biggest acts in the world on a farewell tour is made for Eden Park, but no, let's send it elsewhere.

Sir Ray Avery wants a charity event there, but has a $700,000 bill simply for the paperwork, once the wowsers wound up the letter-writing campaign.

So the upside of all this is it's not like it's tricky to work out why it's in the mess it's in. A stadium actually needs to pay its way. So either one of a couple of things happen, you either start using it properly, or you don't.

And it seems patently obvious that if you're not going to, if you insist on continuing with all the wacky rules, then it will simply go bust.

You either increase revenue or you don't, upside is they can. Do they want to? I don't think so. So close it down, bowl it, and get Phil Twyford and his hammer in.

Now I know all the purists will be outraged. The history, the memories, the investment already made, yes, yes, yes, I agree. But the place is hobbled, deliberately hobbled, by the haters. And unless that stops, the game is over.

Is it going to stop? I can't see it.

This is called facing reality, either stare down the enemy and get on with it, or don't.

But $100 million is way too much for a place that shouldn't be in the hole in the first place.