Strange days again in New Zealand, according to spies there. The 2011 Rugby World Cup tournament needs to be held somewhere in Auckland, but there is apparently nowhere to put it. The Auckland City Council is dead keen to put a tractor tire stadium on the waterfront docks. The Auckland Regional Council hates the idea and wants to upgrade Eden Park instead. The mayor says, "It's a question of whether you want happy containers on the waterfront, or happy people. The ARC wanted happy containers, I wanted happy people." The Minister for Sport, caught in the middle, is having a think about it all over the weekend.
Local architects have been fuming about the attempt to plop the stadium on the wharf, saying on TV that its really not the place to be putting a big internally focussed stadium for 60,000. Another small problem is that the wharves are being used at the moment as.. wharves. Ports of Auckland is showing no signs of closing down in the near future, and may actually expand. So there is talk of reclamation (!) to the east. This is especially silly as immediately to the south of the container terminals, acres of vacant railway land was recently chopped up and sold off, resulting in a butt ugly commercial strip.
There is another interesting thing about all this. Vector stadium has just been built, almost next to where they want to build the new stadium. Unfortunately it isn't large enough and can't be extended.
Details of the council decision:
The ARC decision:
NZ Herald Stadium page:
The actual waterfront proposal:
An alternative waterfront proposal...