Story – New Zealand Herald


Which is the top sports ground in New Zealand? What makes a great sports ground? Is it access, the quality and cost of food or just the overall setting? New Zealand Herald sport and Radio Sport staff were asked to rank their top-five grounds/stadiums/venues in New Zealand. It could have been a racecourse, a motoring track, a cricket venue, a lawn bowls club… whatever. If someone could watch sport there, it was fine. Every top ranked pick was given a score of five points, then four, three, two and one point for the following selections. The results were interesting, especially around Mt Smart Stadium and where Eden Park finished.
Here’s how the grounds ranked
1st – Basin Reserve, Wellington (43 points) Home of Wellington Cricket, regular test cricket venue, recent ODI venue again, roundabout. Nothing really beats a day on the bank at the Basin. I love that you’re allowed to walk around the boundary even if you don’t have a ticket because it’s a public park. – Brenton Vannisselroy. Easily our best test venue. – Hayden O’Neill. You can watch the cricket while standing at the urinal – special – Dylan Cleaver. No better place to spend a day than watching test cricket on the bank at the Basin – Jason Pine. True dimensions, classic look with pickets and pavilion etc, picturesque, unique conditions with wind etc. – Dale Budge. A proper cricket ground. Shame about the weather. – Michael Brown
2nd – Eden Park, Auckland (24 points) Gets a lot of flak, but the crowd for the three Black Caps and two All Blacks matches I’ve watched have been stupendous. The only stadium where you see a Kiwi crowd come to life. – Charlie Bristow
When All Blacks Test or World Cup vs Aust / vs SA – the two best sporting atmospheres I have ever been at. – Brad Lewis.
Mainly for historic reasons and when it’s packed it’s the best place to be. – Cameron McMillan
* Only at the 1992 Cricket World Cup – Michael Burgess
* ODI Cricket only. Eden Park not great for football codes but magnificent for jammed packed cricket matches. Always a mischievous day out on the terraces in my formative youth. – Kent Johns
Horrible place now by modern standards but a lot of brilliant memories, particularly cricket during the Hadlee years and childhood days spent watching the Ponsonby and Auckland rugby teams. – Chris Rattue
3rd= Western Springs, Auckland (21 points) Home of speedway in Auckland – I have several fond memories of summer nights spent at this natural sporting amphitheater. – Brenton Vannisselroy
Uncomfortable as all hell but super fun and a great night out. – Brad Lewis
Don’t let them move it. A world renowned facility in idyllic location. So much history. – Dale Budge
Especially in the glory days of Barry Butterworth, Ted Tracey, Sleepy Tripp. – Michael Burgess
Loud, dirty, intimate and really annoying to the locals. High powered cars, tiny circuit with ample supplies of sprayed mud for the crowd. – D’Arcy Waldegrave

It is interesting to see how some the other venues were ranked. For the full story go to:

I guess you might be left wondering why anyone would want to remove Speedway from the Western Springs venue given it has been there since 1929. Good to see we have the support of two very powerful mediums like the New Zealand Herald and Radio Sport.