North Harbour Stadium
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|Location||between Coliseum Drive, Albany expressway, Don McKinnon Drive and Oteha Valley Road, Albany, North Shore City|
|Owner||Auckland Council, via Regional Facilities Auckland Limited|
|Operator||North Harbour Stadium trustees|
|Opened||March 8, 1997|
|Construction cost||NZ$41 million|
|North Harbour Rugby Union (ITM Cup) (1997–present)
Auckland Blues (Super Rugby) (1999–present) occasional
New Zealand Knights (A-League) (2005–07)
North Harbour Stadium, which for sponsorship reasons is currently known as QBE Stadium, is a stadium, situated in Albany, in North Shore City, New Zealand. It was opened in 1997, after nearly a decade of discussion, planning and construction. Rugby union, soccer and rugby League are the only sports played on the main ground, as it is rectangular in shape. The neighbouring oval plays host to the region's major cricket matches. The stadium also hosts large open-air concerts.
It is the home ground for the North Harbour side in the ITM Cup, taking over from North Harbour's previous home venue, Onewa Domain in Takapuna. It typically hosts one Auckland Blues home game in Super Rugby annually. It has played host to several rugby union and rugby league internationals. The New Zealand Warriors NRL team often play warm-up matches at the ground.
It was the home ground for The New Zealand Knights, the one New Zealand soccer team in the otherwise all-Australian Hyundai A-League, from 2005 until their licence was revoked by the league at the completion of the 2006/2007 season.
It played host to the FIFA Under-17 Women's Football World Cup in 2008.
Radio Control Car Racing is occasionally held in a racetrack next to one of the carparks.
It has an official capacity of 25,000 for sporting events. The stadium has four seating areas – the main grandstand, on the southern side, which seats 12,000 and contains corporate facilities; an uncovered stand opposite which seats 7,000; and grass embankments at either end which each seat 3,000.
A media tower was built prior to the 2011 Rugby World Cup looking down on the uncovered seats and across to the grandstand.
The stadium is lit by four 45-meter tall light towers.
Rugby World Cup 2011
New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup 2011 hosting rights in 2005, prompting a debate in late-2006 as to which stadium should be used to host the final. Eden Park and Stadium New Zealand were considered to be the two main options with North Harbour as an outsider. Eventually, the New Zealand government decided that Eden Park would host the final, with North Harbour as the official reserve option.
Rugby League Test Matches
List of rugby league Test matches played at North Harbour Stadium.
|1||26 September 1997||New Zealand def. Australia (SL) 30-12||17,456|
|2||24 April 1998*||New Zealand def. Australia 22-16||24,620|
|3||16 October 1998||Australia def. New Zealand 36-16||24,470|
|4||18 October 2003||New Zealand def. Australia 30-16||21,296|
|5||16 October 2004**||New Zealand drew with Australia 16-16||19,118|