Stadium Concerns

November 10th, 2006 at 8:46 am by David Farrar

The more I think about the proposed Auckland waterfront stadium, the more nervous I get. It’s not that I am oppossed to the concept, but the potential for disaster seems high.

Thinking back to the Wellington stadium, the proposal was negotitated with key stakeholders over many years. It was a long, tough process, but one which led to a good outcome. Multiple locations were considered with public input deciding between Porirua and Wellington.

Now I think about this stadium proposal, developed in secret by politicans, and look at what is missing:

* There is no agreement with the sporting codes on whether they would use the stadium
* There is no agreement with the local authorities
* There is no agreement with the owners of the land
* The exact location seems to change by the day
* There is no owner (such as the Trust in Wgtn) and manager for the stadium!!
* There is no agreement on who will pay
* There are no sponsors
* There are no planning consents

As far as I can tell, and I await the official announcement, every single pillar necessary for a sound decision is absent. They don’t even know how many games a year the sporting codes would use the stadium for.

My other major concern is construction costs. The construction industry is at near full capacity with prices sky-rocketing. Now sure they may be able to get the job done on time, but they will have the Govt over a barrel in terms of increased costs. Whatever the price announced today is, I suggest you double it.

With tens of thousands of Aucklanders having lost power yesterday evening, the response to spending a billion dollars on a sports stadium, rather than oh say reliable power supply for Auckland, may go down badly.

I’m highly sceptical but not yet oppossed. I do want to see the details due to be announced later today.

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