Numerous national sporting bodies have backed a potential $1.5 billion stadium in downtown Auckland saying the city has been missing out on opportunities with current venue options.
On Saturday the Weekend Herald revealed Auckland Council and the Government were discussing plans for a new national stadium costing between $1.1b and $1.5b.
In the exclusive interview Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said a pre-feasibility study by PwC established a rectangular football stadium in downtown Auckland that could be built in one of six locations.
New Zealand Cricket, New Zealand Rugby, the Vodafone Warriors, New Zealand Football, the Blues, the NRL and the AFL have all supported the aims of the Council's Venue Development Strategy (VDS).
Goff said the stadium would have a retractable roof and could be configured for 25,000 spectators at Super Rugby and NRL matches with a curtain on the top stands to create an atmosphere. It would seat 50,000 to 55,000 spectators for All Black tests and other international matches.
The stadium would also become the main venue for big concerts in the city, capable of holding 65,000 fans.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Auckland was missing out on sporting matches because existing stadium options weren't friendly for users or fans.
"A newly-developed cricket amenity, with a full-sized, oval-shaped playing arena, able to cater for both small and large crowds in a relaxed, grass-banked, more cricket-centric surrounding, would guarantee Auckland significantly more men's and women's international cricket."
New Zealand Rugby chief rugby officer Nigel Cass said the organisation supported the aims of the VDS.
As the country's biggest city, Auckland was important to rugby's continued growth and ability to cater for its participants and supporters, he said.
"We are very aware that fan expectations are changing and we need to keep improving that experience to stay relevant and engage current and new fans.
"Any stadium planning needs to consider the wider, changing needs of codes like ours, including a focus on the women's game, new competitions, the needs of Super Rugby, provincial rugby and club and schools rugby as well as events such as sevens and All Blacks tests and be scalable for a range of competitions and formats."
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the organisation was "very excited" about the potential for a new purpose-built rectangular stadium in the heart of Auckland.
"Having a world-class stadium in the city will provide a compelling case to bring the NRL's marquee events to Auckland.
"When we determine where we want to play our best content, a key consideration is giving our fans and players the best possible experience," Greenberg said.
Of the six unidentified sites for a new downtown stadium, Goff has expressed a preference for railway land alongside Spark Arena, which is close to the city's main train, bus and ferry services, the motorway network, and bars and restaurants.
Goff said he had discussed the plan with Sports Minister Grant Robertson, saying the two politicians had agreed it would be a good idea to start planning. They had also talked about funding options, but acknowledged they both have more pressing priorities at present, he said.
"Can we magic up $1.5b? The answer is no," Goff said.
But the mayor said at the point at which Auckland hosts another major international event like the Rugby World Cup or Commonwealth Games, likely in the 2030s, the council and Government will need to consider a national stadium.