ANDREW GOURDIE: Waterfront Stadium? Great! Who's paying?

I love the idea of a fancy new stadium on Auckland's waterfront, I really do.

The thing is, it was a REALLY good idea in 2006 when we had a Rugby World Cup on the horizon, and the cost to build it was only $500 million.

Now it seems Phil Goff still fancies one at double the price, so he's launched a feasibility study. I'd suggest it's no longer feasible.

Don't get me wrong: it would be brilliant to be able to watch the Blues, the Warriors, the All Blacks, concerts, you name it, at a world-class, state-of-the-art venue in the heart of the city, close to public transport, bars and restaurants. Glorious! But who pays? Because I'm not.

Like most Aucklanders with a mortgage, I can barely afford to take my family to a game at Eden Park (especially not on a public holiday when I pay an extra 10 percent for warm beer), let alone help pay for a WHOLE NEW STADIUM.

And if i'm feeling like this, I can only imagine how taxpayers across the country feel about the prospect of the government chipping in for a stadium most of the country will never set foot in. That'll be popular.

This would need some SERIOUS private investment to get off the ground. And that's when some of the other really tough questions would need to be asked.

How big will this stadium be? Well we're looking at 25-50,000 seats. Yes, that's quite a range. At the lower end, it's perfect for the Blues and the Warriors, but completely impractical as a national stadium to host All Blacks matches.

At the other end of the scale a 50,000 seater would be brilliant for major events, but we would cringe at the sight of empty seats for Super Rugby and NRL fixtures.

Where would the Blackcaps play? Eden Park is far from perfect, but at least it can host international cricket. Regional Facilities Auckland might look to develop Western Springs to give it the look and feel of Seddon Park or Hagley Oval - both outstanding cricket grounds, but not necessarily the types of venues to host Australia, India or England.

It would leave New Zealand Cricket in a massive hole, and facing the prospect of being unable to host big incoming tours in the country's biggest city. That's creating a problem, not a solution.

Perhaps the biggest question of all though is whether Aucklanders really want this. I understand and agree that a billion-dollar waterfront stadium would transform Auckland, but there are a billion other problems with the city that the people living in it would prefer to fix.

Add to this the fact that a sub-standard fan experience in New Zealand is giving live sport a serious PR problem, and Phil Goff better hope the price tag for a new stadium includes warp-speed wifi that allows me to order food & drink to be delivered to my vibrating seat.

The reality is that we should be enjoying this stadium right now, but I fear we've missed our opportunity. Instead of building a stadium in the hope of being able to host another Rugby World Cup, New Zealand should have built one when we had one on the horizon.

Like the boats around the site where the stadium should have been built, that ship might well have sailed.