Warriors owners want stadium overhaul

Warriors owners want stadium overhaul
By Eurosport

19/07/2012 at 15:21Updated 19/07/2012 at 15:23

Warriors owners Eric Watson and Owen Glenn say they want a multi-million dollar redevelopment of Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland as part of a plan to make the club the most successful in the NRL.

Watson and Glenn announced a variety of investments in the club on Thursday, among them an elite academy, a secondary schools championship in Auckland and upgraded fitness and sports science facilities.

"We want this club to become the best single sporting franchise in Australasia," Watson said.

Watson also outlined a long-term vision of a sports facility for the Warriors housing a 40,000 to 60,000-capacity stadium with impressive gym facilities, a smaller ground to host a semi-professional New Zealand competition and a rugby league museum.

He says the obvious place for this was the Warriors' current home of Mt Smart Stadium, a council-owned property badly in need of an upgrade.

"Mt Smart has had no investment for a long time. It's an embarrassment and it needs to be fixed," Watson said.

"But 90 per cent of our customers we have surveyed want Mt Smart to stay as the home of rugby league."

Watson said he's hopeful Auckland Council will back the plan, which he thinks will be self-funding in the long term.

Glenn agreed with the idea, which he thought could be done for an initial $NZ25 million ($A19.45 million) investment and a subsequent $NZ200 million ($A155.60 million).

"It should be as quickly as possible converted to a 30,000 stadium, with a seven or eight-year commitment to a 60,000 stadium, and all the adjacent facilities we are talking about should be planned immediately.

"The different parties who would join with Eric and I, be it ratepayers' money or central government money or sponsors money, we've got to aim to do it."