The addition of an Auckland-based A-League franchise should open up discussions for a purpose-built stadium in the city, says the general manager of the NZ Professional Footballers’ Association, Jacob Spoonley.
Spoonley welcomed news that the A-League owners, the Australian Professional Leagues, saw Auckland and Canberra as their preferred markets for the next round of expansion.
Main photo: Jacob Spoonley … ‘we need a conversation about where they will be based’.
“It creates a commercial asset that will draw a lot of interest. it creates a spectacle for fans, players and coaches to work towards and it allows us a regular opportunity to celebrate football in this country,” Spoonley told 1News.
Former All White Spoonley said an Auckland expansion proposal needed to focus on where the new club would be located.
“This opens up conversations about a purpose-built stadium and where potentially that could be because we need to connect our footballing communities for this club to be successful.
“It’s a discussion for them to have, but I think another A-League franchise — and one for Auckland — does warrant the conversation about where they will be based. They need to be next to a transport hub, they need to be next to retail and hospitality and so it makes sense to look at a downtown stadium.”
Mt Smart Stadium appears to be a frontrunner to host Auckland games, at least in the short-term, while Eden Park and North Harbour Stadium are options.