Why New Zealand needs to get real on stadium size
The biggest reaction to the Christchurch stadium proposals this week is that, at 25,000 seats with the ability to add another 5000, it’s too small.
Why would a city the size of Christchurch need anything over 30,000?
The All Blacks would presumably play there each season — that’s one guaranteed sell-out a year.
Don’t bank on the Crusaders doing that for anything other than a Super Rugby final.
Let’s not ignore trends overseas. The NRL are reassessing their stadium strategies.
Crowds are down and the old Olympic stadium looks awful empty, so they’re considering going back to suburban grounds. Auckland should be looking at a centralised stadium of no more than 35,000 seats. Why go big when it’s going to spend most of its working life half-empty?
Can you imagine the Warriors, or Blues, or a Mitre 10 game in a cavernous 50,000-seat stadium? There’s a simple case for smaller equalling better. Create a fabulous, intimate, rectangular arena for not just sport, but events that will make turning up fun and the experience bearable again.