Stadium Profile: Eden Park

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Eden Park is the biggest sports ground in Auckland, New Zealand for both rugby union during winter, and cricket in summer (although most domestic cricket games are played on the Outer Oval, which is situated next to the main stadium). To accommodate both sports, the cricket pitch is removable. The ground is located three kilometres southwest of Auckland's CBD, straddling the boundary between the Kingsland and Mount Eden suburbs.

It is set to become the first stadium to host two IRB Rugby World Cup Finals in 2011, having held the inaugural final in 1987. It was also the venue for the Rugby League World Cup final in 1988. Eden Park will be home to a striking, luxurious purpose built corporate hospitality venue during the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup, the Tournament Organisers have announced. With the clock ticking down to the one year to go milestone, Rugby Travel & Hospitality (RTH) Limited have released the first visuals of a striking temporary structure that will combine tradition with innovation giving hospitality clients a glimpse of what to expect when the Tournament kicks–off on 9 September 2011. Eden Park Pavilion, ideally located in the shadow of Eden Park will only be a short stroll to the very best Category A undercover seats offered as part of the premium hospitality package and is a way for rugby fans to guarantee their place at the semi–finals and Final of next year's event. RTH, which won a major award for their innovative record–breaking corporate hospitality programme at the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup in France, view the Eden Park Pavilion as being the flagship of the Official Tournament Hospitality Programme. The venue will play host to over 35, 000 fans from all over the world during the Tournament, which will feature a distinctive entrance façade standing 53 metres wide by 20 metres high, blending the Official Tournament look and feel with the herringbone aspect of the RWC event mark to create a rugby ball that will be visible from ground level or the sky. Inside the Pavilion, fans will experience luxury and innovation through a blend of New Zealand cuisine, fine New Zealand wines and a full entertainment programme to give the venue a unique festival atmosphere. David White, director of operations at RTH said: " The Eden Park Pavilion is the culmination of three years of intense planning. New Zealand has never before seen a purpose built structure of this magnitude and quality. " Rugby World Cup Limited chief executive, Mike Miller, stated: " The team at RTH have unrivalled experience in the creation and delivery of outstanding, world–class hospitality facilities and delivered an award winning highly innovative hospitality programme for RWC 2007 in France. I have no doubt that the Eden Park Pavilion will raise the bar once again, providing the perfect corporate entertaining environment to rival all other major global sporting events. " Tournament Organiser, Rugby New Zealand 2011, chief executive, Martin Snedden believes the Eden Park Pavilion will contribute enormously to the success of the Tournament next year. " The Eden Park Pavilion is remarkable and will play a significant role in showcasing the very best of what New Zealand has to offer. We're very excited about this fantastic hospitality venue which we believe will enhance New Zealand's reputation as an outstanding destination for a global sporting event. " The Official Corporate Hospitality Programme for RWC 2011 is now on sale. Customers need to ensure they only purchase from one of the two officially appointed Corporate Hospitality sales agents or their authorised sub–agents who are entitled to provide packages combining RWC 2011 match tickets and hospitality. Eden Park is based in Auckland which is New Zealand's biggest city and its economic powerhouse. Stretching from the wild, expansive west coast and the Tasman Sea, to the white sand beaches of the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Auckland region is a marine playground, a gateway to other parts of New Zealand, and a centre for commerce, entertainment and education. The city of Auckland is based on a narrow strip of land between the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, surrounded by hilly ranges and dormant volcano cones. Just off shore lie Waiheke and Rangitoto Islands; two of New Zealand's top getaway destinations, just a short ferry ride from the city. Nowadays, home to 1. 4m people from over 100 ethnicities, and from all corners of the world, Auckland is the largest and fastest growing region in New Zealand. It's a melting pot of European, South Pacific and Asian cultures with a strong indigenous Maori heritage. This diversity offers a rich cultural and gastronomic experience. Auckland's islands, bush and harbours are set against the backdrop of a modern city environment providing a platform for a lifestyle that sees Auckland ranked as the fifth best city in the world for quality of life. Two thirds of the country's top 200 companies are based in Auckland and nearly a quarter of the world's Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. The scale, diversity and overall capability of Auckland businesses are unmatched in New Zealand. Auckland's central city provides a hub for professional services, a centre for culture, recreation and leisure, and a focal point for higher education, international visitors and marine activities.

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