Mount Smart Stadium
|Mount Smart Stadium|
|Former names||Ericsson Stadium (1995 – 2006)|
|Location||2 Beasley Avenue, Penrose, New Zealand|
|Capacity||Rugby League / Rugby union / Soccer: 30,000
Auckland Vulcans (NSWRL) (2008-present)
Football Kingz (NSL) (1999–2004)
Counties Manukau Rugby Union (ITM Cup) (2006–08)
1990 Commonwealth Games
Mt Smart Stadium, (also known as Ericsson Stadium in the 1990s), is a stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. It is the home ground of National Rugby League team, the New Zealand Warriors. Built within the quarried remnants of the Mount Smart volcanic cone, it is located 10 kilometres south of the city centre, in the suburb of Penrose.
The Mount Smart Domain Board was established in 1942 with the purpose of transforming the former quarry site into a public reserve. In 1953 a plan was approved for a sports stadium which was officially opened in 1967.
The stadium hosted track and field events including the highly successful Pan Am series during the early 1980s. It was chosen as the Main Athletics Stadium as well as the opening and closing ceremonies venue of the 1990 Commonwealth Games. It was where the New Zealand national football team (the All Whites) played all their home qualifying games for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. This was the first occasion that New Zealand had qualified for a FIFA World Cup and the event captured the imagination of the nation with large crowds packing the stadium.
Ericsson Stadium hosted three quarters of the 1999 Rugby League Tri-nations' games, including the final, which New Zealand lost 20–22.
It currently serves as the home ground for the New Zealand Warriors of the Australian National Rugby League. It is the former home of the Football Kingz of the Australian National Soccer League; however, its A-League successor, the now defunct New Zealand Knights, played on the other side of Waitemata Harbour at North Harbour Stadium.
The Athletics Ground (officially Mt Smart Stadium Number 2) hosts athletics meets, right down to Primary School Level. It also holds local rugby league matches and serves as the home ground for the Auckland franchise in the Bartercard Premiership.
The capacity of the stadium for concerts is roughly 47,000 people.
Mt Smart Stadium is the Auckland venue of the Big Day Out music festival. It also has had Michael Jackson perform in the HIStory Tour for 2 concerts in November 1996 and Ricky Martin on his record breaking Livin' la Vida Loca Tour for one show in October 2000. Pearl Jam performed at the stadium on 27 November 2009 during their Backspacer Tour. U2 performed 2 concerts at the venue on their hugely successful U2 360° Tour in November 2010. In 2012, Alternative Rock Band Coldplay performed one show only, on their Mylo Xyloto Tour on November 10.
The Eastern Stand, built in 1995 for the Warriors' first season, was dismantled at the conclusion of the 2003 National Rugby League season to make way for a new stand, with a roof, corporate and dining facilities, training facilities for the Warriors as well as offices for the team management, which was completed in late 2004. The stand as built over the remains of the running track to allow a closer view of the field, squaring the pitch off as a field sports only ground.
In preparation for the 2006 U2 Vertigo Tour concerts, the moveable North Stand was shifted to sit behind the South Stand, effectively doubling the size of the South Stand, leaving a hill at the North end. In 2010, in preparation for concerts by Bon Jovi and the U2 360° Tour, a large temporary stand was built on the northern hill to increase capacity of the venue to over 50,000 – up from approximately 42,000 in the 2006 concert configuration.
As of 12 July 2006, the stadium reverted to its original name, Mt Smart Stadium. In a press release, the Auckland Regional Council, owners of the stadium stated they had considered other offers, but felt they did not suit. Auckland Regional Council did not actively pursue a replacement sponsor.