Eden Park

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Eden Park
Garden of Eden[1]
Eden Park logo.png
Eden Park cropped.jpg
Eden Park viewed from Mount Eden prior to redevelopment
Location Kingsland, Auckland, New Zealand
Coordinates 36°52′30″S 174°44′41″E / 36.87500°S 174.74472°E / -36.87500; 174.74472Coordinates: 36°52′30″S 174°44′41″E / 36.87500°S 174.74472°E / -36.87500; 174.74472
Opened 1900
Owner Eden Park Trust Board
Operator Eden Park Trust Board
Surface Grass
Capacity 50,000. (60,000 with temporary seating)[2]
Tenants
Blues (Super Rugby)
Auckland (ITM Cup)
Auckland Aces (Domestic cricket)

Eden Park is New Zealand's largest stadium. Located in central Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, it is located three kilometres southwest of the CBD, straddling the boundary between the suburbs of Mount Eden and Kingsland. Eden Park's rich sporting and social history, and its international profile, is unmatched by any other stadium in the country. Although used primarily for rugby union in winter and cricket in summer, more recently it has hosted rugby league and soccer matches. In 2011, Eden Park hosted a number of pool games, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final of Rugby World Cup 2011. In doing so it became the first stadium in the world to host two Rugby World Cup Finals, having held the inaugural final in 1987. The stadium has been selected as a venue for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

History[edit]

Eden Park has been in existence as a sports ground since 1900. It began its life as a swamp, but by 1914 the ground had been drained and turned into two ovals. Eden Park was exclusively a cricket ground in its early years, known variously as the Kingsland Cricket Ground and, after a merger with the Eden Cricket Club, as the Eden Cricket Ground. The name ‘Eden Park’ settled into general usage sometime around 1912, soon after it had been taken over by the Auckland Cricket Association (which was founded in 1883). Still to this day the home of Auckland Cricket, Eden Park has hosted many international Tests, One Day International and Twenty/20 cricket matches. Rugby first came to the park in 1913 when, after negotiations with the Auckland Cricket Association, Auckland Rugby was granted a 21-year lease to use the park for games during the winter season. The first test rugby game at Eden Park was held on 27 August 1921, when the Springboks beat the All Blacks 9–5 before a crowd of 40,000. The Auckland Rugby Football Union officially made Eden Park its home in 1925. In 1926 a Trust was set up that provided for a group of Trustees to manage Eden Park primarily for the benefit of Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby. The Trust still manages the Park today. The ground is not simply a venue for rugby and cricket matches – as well as the occasional soccer, league and hockey internationals, plus major track and field events like the 1950 British Empire Games, Eden Park has been the stage for British royalty, Russian gymnasts and the Dalai Lama. In 2013 the New Zealand Warriors announced they would be playing three home games at Eden Park in the 2014 NRL season.[3]

Chronology of Major Happenings[edit]

Redevelopment[edit]

Capacity[edit]

The $256 million redevelopment that was completed in October 2010 provided a permanent capacity of 50,000 and the ability to add a further 10,000 temporary seats for the 2011 Rugby World Cup games.[2] This is the largest of any New Zealand sports arena. There are no standing areas. Temporary seating in front of the North Stand and the West Stand (usually only used for international rugby matches) is required for the capacity to be reached. Due to sight-screens and the larger area required for cricket matches, cricket capacity is less.

Prior to the redevelopment, Eden Park had a crowd capacity of 42,000 for cricket, and 47,500 for rugby.[6]

Expansion[edit]

Cranes building the new South Stand in 2009
Looking south on the construction of the West Stand at Eden Park

The redevelopment project included a new three-tier South stand which replaced the old South and West stands,with a capacity of 24,000, and a new three-tier East stand which replaced the Terraces. The number of covered seats increased from 23,000 to 38,000. The redeveloped Eden Park also features an internal concourse that allows people to circulate around the grounds inside the stadium and several world-class facilities, including food and beverage outlets, toilets and corporate areas, were incorporated. The open plan approach to the design and establishment of a community centre and green space, as well as the removal of the perimeter fence, all mean that the stadium has become more publicly accessible and a part of the neighbourhood.

There were public concerns about the height of the new structure and its shading effect on many nearby houses. Auckland City Council received 470 submissions towards Eden Park's resource consent application – over 300 of which were in favour of the redevelopment. On 26 January 2007, Eden Park received resource consent, but 91 conditions were imposed. The consent permitted the building of new stands in place of the terraces and south stand, but did not include consent for the NZ$ 385 million 'full option' which would have included covered seating.[7]

Possible alternative stadium for the RWC[edit]

In September 2006 it was announced that instead of Eden Park, the Government and Auckland City Council were assessing the possibility of a new stadium on Auckland's waterfront to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup. This assessment was part of the Government's formal due diligence process on the decision to redevelop Eden Park. The Government had said it would assist with the funding if a new stadium was built.[citation needed]

The Government announced in a report in November 2006 that it would favour a new stadium on the Auckland City waterfront, which would have meant that the Eden Park redevelopment would not have gone ahead, and that eventually, new options for its use or redevelopment would have to be developed.

After the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Council differed in their support for the new stadium, the Government changed to supporting the redevelopment of Eden Park, subject to suitable resolution of the design, funding and governance issues.[8]

Rugby[edit]

Eden Park is the home ground for both the Auckland ITM Cup Team and the Auckland Blues, the region's Super Rugby franchise. The ground also regularly hosts All Blacks tests. Auckland Rugby first used the ground in the 1913 season and the first international fixture was against South Africa in 1921.

The final game of the 1981 Springbok Tour was played at Eden Park. A low-flying Cessna 172 piloted by Marx Jones and Grant Cole dropped flour bombs on the field as part of wide spread protests against the tour and Apartheid.

Eden Park was used prominently in both the 1987 Rugby World Cup and the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The ground hosted the final in both tournaments with New Zealand winning both matches.

Cricket[edit]

One Day match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park in 2005

Eden Park is the home ground for the Auckland cricket team. The ground also regularly hosts international fixtures. It first hosted a test in 1930.

The ground hosted matches during the 1992 Cricket World Cup and the stadium has also been selected to host matches during the 2015 Cricket World Cup which will jointly be hosted by Australia and New Zealand. It will host one of the semi finals in the tournament.

Rugby league[edit]

The biggest rugby league game played at Eden Park was the 1988 World Cup Final played on 9 October, giving the venue the distinction of hosting the Union and League World Cup Finals in consecutive years, the only venue to ever do so. In a spiteful match in which the New Zealand Kiwis seemed more intent on dishing out punishment than playing football, the Wally Lewis led Australians defeated the home side 25-12 after leading 25-0 early in the second half. The game was played in front of a record New Zealand rugby league attendance of 47,363 (only 672 less than attended the 1987 Rugby WCF between the All Blacks and France 16 months earlier). Australia had actually won the right to host the final, but as international crowds in Australia had been dwindling in recent years due to the Kangaroos dominance (only 15,944 had attended the dead-rubber Ashes series test between Australia and Great Britain at the Sydney Football Stadium 3 months earlier), the Australian Rugby League agreed to New Zealand hosting the game in the interests of promoting international rugby league. Their efforts were rewarded with the largest World Cup Final attendance since 1968 when 54,290 saw Australia defeat France at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Eden park also hosted two matches (a double header) of the 2010 Rugby League Four Nations on 6 November. In the early game, England defeated Papua New Guinea 36-10, with Australia defeating New Zealand 34-20 in the second game. The Four Nations fixture attracted 44,324 fans. The New Zealand Warriors played the Parramatta Eels in their first ever NRL match at Eden Park to start the 2011 NRL season in front of a crowd of 38,405 with Parramatta winning 24-18.[9] The Warriors also played their first home match of the 2012 season against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in a 2011 NRL Grand Final replay, with Manly winning 26-20 in front of 37,502. The 2012 ANZAC Test between Australia and New Zealand was played at Eden Park, with the Kangaroos winning 20-12 in front of 35,329 fans. The Warriors played the Sydney Roosters in Round 2 of the 2013 NRL season, once again going down to the visiting team 16-14 in front of 32,740 fans.[10]

Football[edit]

Eden Park has played host to three New Zealand National Team games; friendlies against South Africa and FK Austria Wien in 1947 and 1957 respectively, and an Olympic qualifier against Israel for the Seoul Olympics in 1988. They were defeated in all three games.[11]

On 19 November 2011, Eden Park hosted its first game of professional club football. The A-League regular season fixture between Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United resulted in a 1–1 draw. The game attracted 20,078 supporters, a new attendance record for the Phoenix.[12] The Phoenix returned to Eden Park on 2 February 2013 against long-distance rivals Perth Glory,[13] drawing a crowd of 11,566 to see Wellington win 1-0.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Garden of Eden to make us proud". Rugby Heaven. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Ihaka, James (9 September 2010). "Stadium has World Cup experience wrapped up". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Warriors to play three games at Eden Park. 3 News NZ. 2 October 2013.
  4. ^ Satherley, Dan (18 February 2013). "Mayor defends Eden Park deal". 3 News NZ. 
  5. ^ "Council votes to accept Eden Park 'gift'". NZ Herald. 15 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Eden Park. 
  7. ^ Orsman, Bernard (27 January 2007). "Eden Park upgrade takes step ahead". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "It's Eden Park says disappointed Mallard". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.rugbyleagueproject.org/seasons/NRL_2011/Round_1/Warriors-vs-Parramatta/summary.html
  10. ^ http://www.rleague.com/content/article.php?id=40760
  11. ^ Michael Burgess Soccer back on Eden turf, The New Zealand Herald, 13 November 2011. Retrieved on 13 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Massive crowd turns out for Phoenix match". TVNZ. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "WELLINGTON PHOENIX V PERTH GLORY". Eden Park. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Wellington Phoenix vs Perth Glory". SBS. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

New sporting event Rugby World Cup
Final Venue

1987
Succeeded by
Twickenham,
London
Preceded by
Stade de France,
St-Denis
Rugby World Cup
Final Venue

2011
Succeeded by
Twickenham,
London
Preceded by
Rizal Memorial Stadium,
Manila
Tuyul Rugby Sevens
Grand Final stadiums

2001
Succeeded by
TCA Ground,
Hobart