On the one hand, as Brian points out, the decision is easy if you subscribe to the efficiency-of-use argument. The three big stadiums in Auckland (Eden Park, North Harbour Stadium and Mt Smart Stadium) all depend on local government to a greater or lesser degree. Indeed, the issues paper released by Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) in June (linked here) indicates that Eden Park breaks even each year and has a large debt to service of $55m post-Rugby World Cup, Mt Smart is facing an upgrade bill of some $60m and requires local government funding each year, and North Harbour Stadium is very much dependent on local government funding to stay viable. There appears to be an argument, on the surface, that there are potential efficiencies to be gained by rationalising their use (the 'collaborative strategies' option presented by RFA).I guess my first question about this is , What does break even mean for Eden Park? What get countered in such a calculation and what doesn't? How much local government support does the park get? Or, if it was a private business, would it still be in business?
My other question comes from the EconTalk interview with Roger Noll of Stanford University. Noll noted that
[ ... ] an arena that has multiple uses, say, it's going to have a basketball team and/or a hockey team, has other potential uses, like concerts and tractor-pulls, all kinds of stuff. And so a well-managed arena can be occupied 250-300 nights a year. And they can break even.So my question would be, If around 300 nights of use a year is the break even point, can any stadium, even a multi-use one, be used 300 times a year in Auckland?