Vodafone has announced it's backing the concept for a downtown stadium in Auckland. Image | www.photosport.nz

Vodafone is dialling up public support for a new waterfront stadium in central Auckland, stepping forward and throwing its backing behind the idea. 

Chief executive Russell Stanners said Vodafone had a long and rich history with New Zealand sport, and would seriously consider sponsoring a new Auckland downtown stadium if it went ahead.

“We think a new stadium is an absolutely fantastic idea, and we would love to this become a reality for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand,” he said.

“Kiwis love sport and Vodafone shares that same passion.”

Vodafone has been the principal naming rights sponsor of the Vodafone Warriors since 1999 – the longest professional naming rights sports team sponsor in New Zealand history. Vodafone also supports a wide range of other sports – netball, soccer, Team Vodafone Sailing and Emirates Team New Zealand. Vodafone currently partners with the Chiefs, the Hurricanes, the Highlanders and the Crusaders. 

“We’ve already been in talks with other individuals and organisations who are backing this stadium proposal, pledging our full support," said Stanners.

"We believe this project would enhance the vibrancy of central Auckland and New Zealand sport. We have a unique opportunity before us.”

Vodafone is well-positioned to enrich stadium experiences for kiwis across its leading mobile network, allowing customers to instantly share images of live games across social networks, and stay in touch with friends and family.

Stanners said constructing a new multi-code, multi-purpose venue on the Auckland waterfront would present New Zealand with a once and a lifetime opportunity to build a “stadium of the future”, one of the most technologically advanced in the world. There’s the potential for everything in the stadium to be enabled by the smartphone, fully wireless enabled, and voice and video aware. 

“We encourage as many people in the community to stand up and get behind this project, and help see it become a reality,” Stanners said.

Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said the club is fully aligned with Vodafone in its support of a central city stadium.

“We’re absolutely right behind Vodafone on this. Having a stadium in downtown Auckland is the only logical outcome for the city and possibly the country,” he said.

“A city like Auckland deserves a downtown stadium. All public transport leads there, there are restaurants, bars and cafes and it would add to vibrancy of the city.

"A central city stadium could be shared between the Vodafone Warriors, the Blues and soccer. So we could have games there on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday and each team would pick up a lot more fans because it would be easier to get to.”