New Zealand Cricket are ready to move to Western Springs but Auckland Cricket are quite happy where they are at Eden Park.

Their needs are different and AC don't see why they should automatically be relocated away from the strong and well-established setup they have as part of the Regional Facilities Auckland proposals to move sports around the city.

With confirmation that speedway is to leave Western Springs after more than 80 years based there, and NZC having indicated keenness to take up that site, AC are putting their case for sitting tight.

"Our position has been, and still is, that we are happy with what we have at Eden Park in terms of facility provision and the financial benefit we gain from being here," AC chief executive Iain Laxon said today.


Among those benefits are use of the No 2 ground at Eden Park, quality training facilities, outdoor nets, office space and car parking at a discounted rate, courtesy of their relationship with Eden Park Trust Board. Then there is the financial upside of just over $300,000 a year it receives towards domestic cricket funding and a range of activities including junior cricket across Auckland.

"We have always had an open mind in terms of talking to whoever about what might be other options and what they might look like," Laxon said.

"The current proposal from the RFA unfortunately does not meet what our requirements would be at another ground. If we were to seriously consider going somewhere else, then the very minimum is the replication of what we've got here."

The proposal is for Western Springs to use drop-in pitches with the venue to also be hosting activities such as Australian Rules and concerts. AC calculate they have about 50 days a season when the pitches are used for playing and training at the outer oval. A drop-in pitch is not practical.

"We need a wicket block and that's one speed bump in terms of what they currently have on the table," Laxon said.

He would also like to talk through developments with the RFA.

"Over the last 12-18 months those conversations have been almost exclusively with NZC rather than ourselves, which is their prerogative. You could say we're disappointed. It would be nice to sit down and at least explore what some options would look like."

Laxon pointed out there is no compulsion for AC to move anywhere. There is potential for NZC to be playing its matches at a new stadium and Auckland using Eden Park's outer oval.


"I sincerely hope that's not what it comes to. I don't think that's necessarily the healthiest position for New Zealand Cricket in general."

There's been no pressure from NZC to fall in line with the national organisation's wishes.

"We've both been pretty clear with each other. They've got their priorities what they want to do about a stadium for international cricket and we've been clear with Eden Park provides for us.

"We will try and align as best we can. But we could be going in slightly divergent directions. Ideally, we'd like to get to the point where we're back in the same boat, but it might take a little while to get there."