Eden Park would ‘have its place’ for derbies between Phoenix and new club

Eden Park would be an ideal venue for hosting derbies between Auckland’s new A-League club and the Wellington Phoenix, says the stadium’s chief executive Nick Sautner.

“For the A-League, it’s great to have a franchise in Auckland but it needs to be the right venue.

“Eden Park is consistently at 20,000 fans-plus for Wellington Phoenix fixtures and so we’re excited by the prospect of having derbies between Wellington Phoenix and this new franchise at Eden Park.”

Interviewed by NewstalkZB’s D’Arcy Waldegrave, Sautner said he had not spoken with Auckland expansion club backer Bill Foley but he was keen to share ideas about potential venues for the club for when it joins the men’s A-League in 2024.

Texan billionaire Foley has floated the idea of building a 20,000-seater stadium on Auckland’s waterfront.

“It was certainly a surprise to me,” Sautner said.

“We’re not against a downtown stadium.”

However, he said planning for Auckland’s future needs required input from various parties to get the best outcomes for the region and the country.

Sautner said he believed the city needed a 50,000+ capacity stadium with a roof, and Eden Park was the obvious option.

“For the derbies between Auckland and the Welington Phoenix, Eden Park would have its place.”

Listen to Nick Sautner’s interview

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