COMMENT

Just what we need - another doom and gloom Eden Park report.

Many of us could have told the people running this city that the alleged national stadium was stuffed, without wading through more depressing figures.

When it comes to the dire stadium situation, this city needs leaders, not reports, to extract us from an expensive joke.

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The stadium project has become such an odd and futile business, sporadic bursts of enthusiasm and information followed by long bouts of nothingness.

Just for the hell of it, here's a not-too-serious spot check of Auckland's weird and whacky stadiums — past and present.

The Hauraki Gulf

Team NZ test out the AC72 America's Cup boat in the Hauraki Gulf in 2013. Photo / Natalie Slade
Team NZ test out the AC72 America's Cup boat in the Hauraki Gulf in 2013. Photo / Natalie Slade

Eat your heart out New Zealand —this is the sparkling jewel in Auckland's magnificent crown.

Very low maintenance thanks to the endless supply of wind and water. Some of the grandstand seating is a bit pricey, but life ain't perfect.

A triumph in stadium design — once the America's Cup racing is over it can easily be returned to original use.

The great news for boaties is even the mighty Auckland council cannot earmark the gulf for cricket and move the yachting to Waikaraka Park.

Mt Smart Stadium

Mt Smart - the default stadium with a lot of faults. Photo / Photosport
Mt Smart - the default stadium with a lot of faults. Photo / Photosport

The default venue with a lot of faults. Is it an athletics venue? Is it a footy ground? Is it a concert venue?

Warriors tragics may disagree, but misshapen and outdated. A small ground which affords many spectators a distant view, which is quite some feat.

Eden Park

A general view of Eden Park. Photo / Photosport
A general view of Eden Park. Photo / Photosport

We're in white elephant territory here, and a financial hell hole.

Citizens-turned-wardens wearing high-viz vests often outnumber the low-viz spectators.

At least it makes getting home a breeze.

ASB Tennis Arena

The ASB Tennis Arena specialises in having retractable plans for a retractable roof. Photo / Photosport
The ASB Tennis Arena specialises in having retractable plans for a retractable roof. Photo / Photosport

Serena Williams gave it the grand slam two years ago. Our respectable little tennis venue specialises in having retractable plans for a retractable roof.

Ellerslie Racecourse

Ellerslie Racecourse still stands as tall as it can. Photo / Photosport
Ellerslie Racecourse still stands as tall as it can. Photo / Photosport

"A horse, a horse, a kingdom for my horse".

Racing is in the doldrums compared to the glory days but Ellerslie still stands as tall as it can.

In the middle of a Shakespeare season right now thanks to the pop-up Globe.

Waikaraka Park

Exhausted.

A sort of 1950s stock car nightmare.

But maybe that's its charm.

Is there any greater sight in sport than a good demolition derby? Hell no.

Western Springs

Western Springs. Photo / Photosport
Western Springs. Photo / Photosport

Multipurpose, historic speedway venue which failed to draw enough people to sustain a round of the world speedway championship.

Cars have overtaken bikes but it is still a unique place with great meetings and fond memories.

But it's hard to work out if speedway is staying there or not under Auckland's magnificent, well thought out, stadium merry-go-round plan.

For trivial pursuit buffs - perhaps the only venue in the world to have hosted Peter Frampton (kids ask your grandparents) and Sleepy Tripp (kids ask your grandparents).

Alexandra Park

Many a great horse has been made at Alexandra Park. Photo / Photosport
Many a great horse has been made at Alexandra Park. Photo / Photosport

The harness racing venue which made commentator Reg Clapp famous.

Or was it the other way around?

Many a great night has been had there, many a great horse like Cardigan Bay made there.

But go on, name a famous pacer these days.

Newmarket Park (deceased)

A wonderful if antiquated venue for the old national soccer league, internationals and star-studded invitational teams from overseas.

Rumour has it that schoolboys hid behind one stand to snaffle the footballs which came whizzing over, hoofed there by traditional Kiwi central defenders.

The country's premier football ground fell down a bank and nobody bothered to replace it.

Carlaw Park (deceased)

The main grandstand felt like it was one match short of a giant barbecue. The swamp (playing area) was drained but it still featured one corner with a slope.

The facilities were prehistoric, the toilets pre that. Kind of fell down before it could be pulled down.

The students who now live there would have been horrified, even frightened.

Avondale Racecourse (on life support, last rites due)

Closed down at one point under mounting (excuse the pun) debt and dwindling crowd numbers, and due to be closed down again in the next few years.

How many times can you close down one racecourse?

Set a probable record 15 years ago when 71 scratchings left 68 horses to race in a meeting — numbers which, ironically, reflect the warden-to-spectator ratio at Eden Park.

Rumour has it that Avondale still holds a few midweek meetings but better known as the venue for a Sunday market.

The racecourse, the racecourse, where everyone gets a bargain.

Albany's QBE Stadium

The QBE Stadium in Albany was designed to get the sun in your eyes. Photo / Photosport
The QBE Stadium in Albany was designed to get the sun in your eyes. Photo / Photosport

Will it ever be finished?

Designed to get the sun in your eyes.

Partly survives for now on Eden Park's rugby offcuts.

So if Eden Park goes broke ...