One year on from the All Blacks winning the World Cup at Eden Park, what is the state of rugby at the so-called “Stadium of Four Million”? APNZ reporters Patrick McKendry, Daniel Richardson and Matthew Backhouse investigate.
### nzherald.co.nz 4:16 PM Friday Oct 19, 2012
Rugby: What is the state of our game?
By Matthew Backhouse, Patrick McKendry, Daniel Richardson
Andrew Maddock will be at EcoLight Stadium in Pukekohe early today for Counties-Manukau’s biggest game of the season, an ITM Cup semifinal against Southland. The Counties Rugby Union chief executive will be at work about 8am for a game which kicks off at 2.05pm and which he expects will attract only 4000-5000 spectators. “It’s a little bit hard to know as it’s Labour Weekend,” he says. “That for us is a reasonable crowd because we’re a pretty small community.” When that match kicks off the All Blacks will be preparing for tonight’s Bledisloe Cup match against the Wallabies in Brisbane which will attract a full house of more than 50,000 to Suncorp Stadium and a worldwide audience of millions. Such is the divide in New Zealand rugby, a ravine growing by the year despite, or perhaps because of, the All Blacks’ success in the World Cup, which on Tuesday will be exactly 12 months ago.
Mr Cull says there was a great atmosphere during the tournament, but whether that justified the expenditure was another matter.
One year on from the Rugby World Cup, the tournament’s costly and sometimes controversial stadium projects have left a legacy of ongoing debt and questions over their future.[…]For NZRU chief executive Steve Tew, the World Cup’s legacy is a positive one, despite doubts remaining over Eden Park which had a massive overhaul before the tournament and now mostly sits empty apart from when the All Blacks play there.
“We’ve got a sound platform to build on going forward. Of course there are significant challenges ahead financially, but when I look to the future events that we’ve got coming up, the events calender is looking pretty robust.” -Darren Burden, DVML
Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium is struggling to attract the big events it needs to remain financially viable, while Auckland’s revamped Eden Park has been dragged into a review of the city’s stadiums as it looks to shake off $55 million in debt. Critics say the tournament failed to deliver on its promised financial returns and are questioning the long-terms gains of the $555m spent nationally on upgrading stadiums. – APNZ
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr