Solid outlook for Eden Park trust over next year

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 11:43 24/02/2014
Ngani Laumape
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ON THE MARK: The Auckland Nines have helped out Eden Park.

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Auckland's Eden Park has kept a steady operating profit in 2013 as it attracts new events and builds from a bumper Rugby World Cup year.

The inaugural NRL Auckland Nines this month, the Junior Rugby World Cup to be held in June and next year's Cricket World Cup are expected to fill the coffers of New Zealand's biggest stadium.

The Eden Park Trust, which operates the stadium, said in its 2013 annual report released today that its operating profit was about $2.2 million, similar to the previous year.

The annual report showed net profit before depreciation increased 172 per cent to $1.2 million, while repaying $2.6m of its commercial loans.

The stadium is expected to host 29 fixtures in 2014 up from 24 last year and 19 in 2010.

Nearly 600,000 spectators are expected to pass through its turnstiles this year - boosted by the inaugural NRL Nines event which saw a crowd of nearly 100,000.

Rugby, however, continues to be the dominant user of the stadium.

During 2013 Eden Park hosted the All Blacks, the Blues and Auckland Rugby for 14 matches. The annual secondary schools and club rugby finals were also held there.

Wellington-based Phoenix Football Club played its second game there in February 2013 and its third earlier this month.

Outside the sporting arena, Eden Park hosted more than 1000 functions ranging from three-day business conferences to school balls and weddings.

Eden Park Trust chief executive David Kennedy said forecasts for 2014 were encouraging.

"Fixtures in the park have increased by 26 per cent since 2010 and the calibre of sport and entertainment content at the ground continues to be superb," he said.

The trust said it was proud of what it was contributing to the local economy - it has forecast it will add about $90 million in GDP to the New Zealand economy in 2014, $72m of which would be retained in Auckland.

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