Eden Park may be known as a fortress for the All Blacks and home of many of New Zealand's most memorable sporting moments.

But even All Black legend Sir John Kirwan agrees it's past its use-by date.

The Auckland Waterfront Consortium put forth a proposal for a new 50,000 seat, fully enclosed international stadium to be built within the next 10 years.

The stadium will be built alongside a redeveloped Bledisloe Wharf at Ports of Auckland, partly on reclaimed land and partly sunk into the seabed.


Other features include a floating roof above sea level and the removal of Captain Cook Wharf, currently used for car imports.

Artist's impression of the proposed Auckland Waterfront Stadium sunken stadium. Photo / Supplied
Artist's impression of the proposed Auckland Waterfront Stadium sunken stadium. Photo / Supplied

The self-funded multi-purpose stadium would displace Eden Park, leaving the iconic venue to be redeveloped for residential use.

Although plenty of Auckland locals have praised the consortium's plan, many Kiwi sports fans have struggled to look past Eden Park's sentimental value.

Artist's impression of the proposed Auckland Waterfront Stadium sunken stadium. Photo / Supplied
Artist's impression of the proposed Auckland Waterfront Stadium sunken stadium. Photo / Supplied

However, Kirwan said it was time to move on to bigger and better things.

"The first thing I thought about was what about the tradition of Eden Park but unfortunately the local people don't like the stadium ... we'll keep Eden Park in our hearts but it's just past its use-by date," Kirwan told Radio Sport Breakfast.

"Sure I will be sad to see it go, however, it doesn't work anymore and as a city, we need a bigger stadium than that and I think an international stadium, a multi-use stadium of that size down there will be great.

"Sentimentally I love Eden Park but it's just past its use-by date so let's create some new memories, let's create some other great stuff in the new stadium."

Kirwan, who was part of the 1987 World Cup winning All Blacks side and still stands as one of the highest try scorers in international rugby history, described the new stadium plan as outstanding and said it would be a step in the right direction for New Zealand's sporting landscape.

Graphic / Supplied
Graphic / Supplied

"I think the design is outstanding, I think it'll be multi-use, and I think it's going to be way better than looking at a whole lot of cars sitting on our wharf," Kirwan said.

"I love it ... I believe we need a heart in our city where people can pour out and enjoy the centre of the city."

Former All Black lock Andy Haden also backed the waterfront stadium and said it would become an iconic part of Auckland City.

"It's absolutely essential, Eden Park's done its days, yes it's sentimental, yes a lot of history ... it's done it's dash as far as a playing venue is concerned," Haden said.

"A signature piece of Sydney, a harbour bridge and an Opera House, it puts Sydney on the map as one of the greatest cities in the world, we missed that opportunity some time ago to be able to stamp our mark as a great sporting venue and I hope they don't miss the chance again.

"I share their sentiments but the head has got to rule the heart."

All Black great Bryan Williams, however, struggled to agree with the idea that Eden Park was past its use-by date and believed the stadium should be protected at all costs.

"I'm a great traditionalist, Eden Park means a great deal to me, many of my best moments came at Eden Park so I'd like to see Eden Park retained," Williams said.

"We go to great lengths to protect heritage buildings and the history and heritage of rugby and cricket at Eden Park is immense with so many wonderful sporting moments.

"It's still a purpose-built stadium and I can't see any reason to change that for the moment ... but I'm an open, fair-minded man and obviously, it's a very visionary approach to a new stadium."

Official plans for a new National Stadium are being unveiled today to gauge public support.

The consortium plans to test the feasibility of the project over the next 12 to 18 months.