Many mem­o­ries in ter­races

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By Scott Mor­gan

ON MATCH day at Eden Park the ac­tion on the ter­races of­ten over­shad­ows what’s go­ing on out in the mid­dle.

But that all comes to an end af­ter the Bledis­loe Cup clash be­tween the All Blacks and the Wal­la­bies to­mor­row.

De­mo­li­tion of the stand, which was built in stages be­tween 1967 and 1972, be­gins at the end of the month in prepa­ra­tion for the build­ing of the new east stand be­fore the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Reg­u­lar ter­races pa­tron Mike Mead says he of­ten turns down of­fers of tick­ets to the park’s cor­po­rate boxes be­cause there’s a real so­cial el­e­ment to sit­ting in the in­fa­mous stand.

“Peo­ple come back from over­seas and you know where every­one’s go­ing to be.

“You never know who’s go­ing to be there. Some­one might show up af­ter five or 10 years.”

The Mt Eden res­i­dent, who first be­gan sit­ting on the ter­races in 1991, of­ten tried to get one over on the se­cu­rity guards in his younger days with plenty of mates in tow.

“We once got a Ja­panese guy to smug­gle 30 beers in and we got him through fine.

“When the guards ap­proached him he started spout­ing Ja­panese and walked off.”

Th­ese days matches on the ter­races are a fam­ily af­fair with Mr Mead’s chil­dren Ella, 6, and Han­nah, 3, both hav­ing their first ex­pe­ri­ence in the stand as ba­bies.

“They love it. They can run around and have a play.

“There’s a good bit of hu­mour there from time to time.”

How­ever, in more re­cent times the fam­ily sat else­where dur­ing in­ter­na­tional cricket games be­cause of the rowdy at­mos­phere.

One part of the ter­races Mr Mead won’t be sorry to see go are the bucket seats that were in­stalled sev­eral years ago.

“You need a towel to dry them off be­fore you sit down.”

Mr Mead says he’ll be in­ter­ested to see whether the at­mos­phere of the ter­races is trans­ferred to the new stand.

“You have to have an area where peo­ple can do what they like.”

Eden Park Rede­vel­op­ment Board chief ex­ec­u­tive Adam Fee­ley says peo­ple will have mixed emo­tions about the ter­races’ last hur­rah.

“You ei­ther love them or hate them.

“There’s a fair bit of his­tory there, with some of the park’s live­lier mo­ments.”

He is con­fi­dent peo­ple will quickly adapt to the new 8600-seat east stand.

“There’s go­ing to be a bit of nos­tal­gia but it will prob­a­bly lapse pretty quickly.”

The Pana­sonic stand next to the ter­races will be re­placed by about 2000 seats in the ex­ten­sion of the ASB stand.

Be­fore the rede­vel­op­ment the ter­races held around 14,000 peo­ple.

While ca­pac­ity on the eastern side of the ground is re­duced by more than 3000 Mr Fee­ley says peo­ple will have more space af­ter be­ing jammed in on poor qual­ity seats in the past.

The east and south stands are ex­pected to be com­plete by Oc­to­ber next year, while 10,000 tem­po­rary seats in­stalled in mid-2011 will boost ca­pac­ity to 60,000 for the world cup.

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