|Operator Auckland Council|
Broke ground 1965
Phone +64 9-366 2048
Team New Zealand Warriors
Owner Auckland Council
|Former names Ericsson Stadium (1995–2006)|
Location 2 Beasley Avenue, Penrose, New Zealand
Capacity Rugby League / Rugby union / Football: 30,000 Concerts: 47,000
Address 2 Beasley Ave, Penrose, Auckland 1061, New Zealand
Similar Jubilee Oval, Willows Sports Complex, Brookvale Oval, Endeavour Field, Robina Stadium
Mt Smart Stadium (formerly known as Ericsson Stadium) 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 Rarotonga / 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. In 1978 it hosted 3 matches of the World Series Cricket tour of New Zealand. The stadium hosted track and field events including the highly successful Pan Am series during the early 1980s.
During the 1988 Great Britain Lions tour the Auckland rugby league team defeated the tourists 30-14 at Mt Smart before a crowd of 8,000. Mount Smart hosted its first rugby league international on 23 July 1989 when New Zealand and Australia played the third test of the Kangaroos 1989 New Zealand Tour. In front of 15,000 fans Australia defeated the Kiwis 22-14 to wrap up the series 3-0.
The stadium 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.
The Auckland Warriors' home ground record at the stadium is 32,174, who saw them play the Illawarra Steelers in Round 6 of the 1995 ARL season. Ericsson Stadium was the host of the Super League's 1997 World Club Championship Final between Australian teams the Brisbane Broncos and Hunter Mariners. In front of 12,000 fans, the Broncos defeated the Mariners 36-12. Ericsson Stadium hosted three quarters of the 1999 Rugby League Tri-nations' games, including the final, which New Zealand lost 20–22.
The stadium is now owned by the Auckland Council, following the merger of Auckland's regional authorities. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the back of the grandstand roof at Mount Smart was used for Bungee jumping. Following the first rugby league test at the stadium in 1989, Australian captain Wally Lewis and team mate Peter Jackson both 'took the plunge'.
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.
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 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. However, the Bon Jovi concert was then held at the Vector Arena and only U2 performed two concerts there.
Rugby league test matches
A list of rugby league test and World Cup matches played at Mount Smart Stadium.
The capacity of the stadium for concerts is roughly 47,000 people. This can be expanded to 60,000 when the temporary north and south stands are installed. A list of concerts held at the stadium are included in the table below:
Mount Smart Stadium was the Auckland venue of the Big Day Out music festival until 2012. In 2014, Western Springs Stadium served as the venue for the festival in Auckland. Among the concerts hosted, Rainbow Warrior Benefit Concert (Greenpeace 1986) featuring multiple artists including Neil Young on acoustic guitar and Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Topp Twins, Dave Dobbyn and a Split Enz reunion within Mt Smart Stadium.
A album of Maori artists who came to support the aims of the Mt. Smart Stadium project was released in 1981. It was called The Mauri Hikitia. It reached no 4 on the New Zealand charts. It featured Rhonda, Ken Kincaid, Deane Waretini, and the Lightwood family.