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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Wednesday, March 07 2012 @ 08:40 am ACDT

I can only presume Auckland to be deemed too much Rugby (League) territory. 

I guess there really are only so many grounds in NZ set up to cater for 10-15,000 crowds that aren't postage stamp rugby fields that make a mockery of cricket!!

Mt Smart would be no good, there's no side line room with the grandstands pretty close to the Rugby field.

North Harbour has a nice oval, but, the main stadium on the field adjoining is too narrow.....once again the whacky kiwis go and plonk the grandstands on the wings!!  Perhaps if they dug up the 'lower grandstand' blocks and reduced capacity back to about 18,000!!

Eden Park might've been the 1950 Empire Games venue - but, you've only got to watch cricket uncomfortably wedged into the ground playing on a 'diamond' to realise it's a hugely compromised venue for oval sports.

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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Rod Shaw on Wednesday, March 07 2012 @ 12:21 pm ACDT

Hi all

I don't think it has anything to do with any other sports' territory. The facts remain that Auckland is the major centre with over 1,000,000 in the region. It is also more of the business centre. For reasons such as this the AFL NZ office and General Manager/CEO have been based in Auckland since before the formation of the NZAFL in 1998.

One of the true first benefits of the formation of the NZAFL was a paid position (lowly) which enabled some work to be done without it being done on a voluntary basis. This was the case previous to 1998 when the old New Zealand Australian Football Council oversaw whatever initiatives that were happening- eg National Provincial Championships and NZ tours and team selection to tournaments such as the Arafura Cup during the 90's. It was a very small group of the most passionate off field drivers doing even more than running their local leagues and clubs in their spare time (joke)

The facts that position Wellington so well are not just its central location within the isles and its place as the nation's capital with a very respectable local population BUT the opportunity of having a paid GM in Will McKenzie, with the support of the inaugural Board,  who was able to get in at the planning stage of the Cake Tin and help sell the vision of AFL football in NZ and the need for a ground to be developed that could actually cater for that.

In my opinion that is why it is Wellington and not Auckland that will likely host the game, despite many other indicators suggesting Auckland should be the long term home. In reality The Basin is a ripper venue being boutique sized similiar to the SCG but off-field it just doesn't adequately cater for the requirements of modern day AFL football.


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First internationally staged AFL Premiership Game bound for NZ?
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 11:59 pm ACDT

Gee if Will and NZAFL had that much influence over the design of the stadium back then that's a huge outcome that finally may be yielding the kind of results they would've hoped for.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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