Case Study

Auckland Stadium A Transformative New Landmark

Auckland, New Zealand

The Challenge

Auckland city leaders are seeking to upgrade or replace New Zealand’s national stadium, which is over 100 years old. Te Tōangaroa Consortium, a group of international sport and finance experts that includes HKS, developed a plan to deliver an exceptional sport and entertainment venue to elevate New Zealand’s sporting prowess and cultural identity on the global stage.

The Design Solution

The distinctive stadium design is informed by the history and culture of the Māori, the indigenous Polynesia people of mainland New Zealand. The venue is intended to serve as an iconic architectural landmark for the Auckland region. The undulating roofline evokes Taumata, a Māori term meaning pinnacle or higher level, which is an important concept in New Zealand’s rich national identity.

The stadium site is in a downtown precinct of Auckland known as Te Tōangaroa. A focal point of the stadium design is a large opening that frames a vista of nearby Rangitoto Island, a place of natural beauty and cultural significance. The stadium’s innovative clear, folding roof structure opens to provide unimpeded views of the horizon and sky.

The design offers versatility and scalability to accommodate various activities, including sporting events, concerts, conferences and cultural gatherings. The retractable roof ensures year-round operation and weather resilience.

To maximize flexibility, the stadium’s upper decks can adapt to smaller events, starting with a “club mode” with a capacity of 25,000. The venue’s capacity scales up to 55,000 for major events such as concerts and matches for the All Blacks, New Zealand’s legendary national men’s rugby team.

The stadium design incorporates an All Blacks-themed hotel tower. The All Blacks – one of the winningest sports franchises in the world – have a storied history that dates to 1884. As a replacement for New Zealand’s current national stadium, the new structure will serve as the first dedicated home venue for the All Blacks and for the World Champion Black Ferns, New Zealand’s national women’s rugby team. Other sports tenants may include additional professional men’s rugby teams – the New Zealand Warriors and the Auckland Blues – as well as New Zealand’s national men’s and women’s football (soccer) teams, the All Whites and the Football Ferns.

The stadium site is a short walking distance from Auckland‘s Central Business District. The project’s broader vision is to deliver a new and revitalised Eastern Gateway to the region that aligns with the ambitions of the Auckland 2050 Plan.

The project team envisions the site as an eco-district with sustainable design encompassing housing, cultural, educational, commercial, hospitality and entertainment spaces. These will be phased in over 10-15 years to create a vibrant, interconnected urban environment that stimulates business growth and attracts visitors and residents.

The Design Impact

The stadium design sets a global architectural benchmark and highlights New Zealand’s cultural landscape.

The project will create a once-in-a-generation asset for Auckland and all New Zealand. The stadium will have the capacity to host premiere regional and global events, such as the Te Matatini Māori national performing arts festival, Haka Olympics and Rugby World Cup.

In addition to being the first ever dedicated home stadium for the All Blacks and the Black Ferns, the stadium will anchor the development of an entire new city east precinct that unites surrounding neighbourhoods. The 365-day streetscape will be active even on non-event days at the stadium. Localised infrastructure upgrades, including stormwater management, road alignments and transport interfaces, will be captured as part of the overall implemented development.

Project Features

  • Multipurpose waterfront stadium with a scalable seating capacity of 25,000 to 55,000
  • Innovative retractable roof
  • All-Blacks branded hotel
  • Community development to include four hotels, plus bars, restaurants, shops, office spaces, residential apartments, public squares and parks