Eden Park Stadium is bringing the stories of its community to life through a special photographic exhibition launching this month.
As part of the project, New Zealand’s national stadium is encouraging others to share their own Eden Park stories and be in with the chance to win a 12-month membership for four people.
The ‘Our Neighbourhood’ project, which will adorn the walls and halls of Eden Park for the next 12 months, combines stunning portraits by local photographer Lee Howell with the stories from some of the many individuals who make up the stadium’s community.
The photographs and accompanying stories will be revealed to the public in a free exhibition on Sunday 28 May from 10am to 2pm.
Eden Park General Manager Commercial Nick Sautner said the exhibition is a celebration of community, place and a passion for sport through the eyes of their team, supporters, local businesses and neighbours. He said:
I was captivated by an exhibition featuring the faces and people of Kingsland by a local photographer and wanted to extend the project into Eden Park to tell our own stories.
This stadium is revered by so many around the world and has such a rich history, it seemed an ideal opportunity.
Sautner says the exhibition presents some compelling stories and beautiful images:
There is the local pastor whose parents met at Eden Park – his mother rejected his father’s advances and only agreed to go on a date if his father scored a try and converted it at Eden Park; plus a long-term member who remembers camping out at the gates to get the best seats during the 1966 Lions Tour.
Howell says his passion lies in working with people and creating portraits that glow with a natural warmth whilst capturing a person’s true character. He said:
For me, ‘Our Neighbourhood’ is about doing exactly that – showcase the essence of the Eden Park community, its stories and personalities.
Sautner believes the exhibition which will see the images – some as large as 3.6m wide – displayed around the stadium, is the first of its kind in a major sports stadium.
These stories barely scratch the surface of Eden Park’s rich history and community, which is why we are encouraging anyone and everyone who has had anything to do with the stadium to share their own story with us between now and Wednesday 31 May.
Anyone wishing to enter can share their story on Eden Park’s Facebook page or on their own page with the hashtag #ouredenparktoday.
The winner will be drawn on 1 June and will receive a 12-month Eden Park membership for four people, including admission to all three Eden Park matches in New Zealand’s most eagerly anticipated rugby tour since 2005.
Eden Park is New Zealand’s national stadium and a globally-iconic sporting arena, located in central Auckland. Its rich sporting history and profile is unmatched by any other stadium in the country.
From its beginnings as a cricket ground in 1903, Eden Park became the primary venue for major summer and winter sport in Auckland when, in 1913, the owner, Auckland Cricket, leased winter use of the ground to Auckland Rugby.
A Deed of Trust establishing Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby as the beneficial owners of Eden Park was signed in 1926 and has since been enshrined in legislation.
Most notably remembered for hosting the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cup Finals, Eden Park remains the home of both Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby as it has been for more than a century.
Eden Park operates as a statutory, not for profit body corporate, registered as a charitable trust with the Charities Commission. Each year, more than half a million sports and entertainment fans from around the world visit Eden Park.
The stadium successfully hosts sell-out crowds of up to 50,000 on match days and hosts more than 1,000 non-match day functions per year.