Did the chief executive of Eden Park accidentally let slip this week that US singer Barbra Streisand might be the next big act to grace Auckland's largest stadium after Six60?
The words of Eden Park Trust Board chief executive Nick Sautner definitely piqued the interest of the Auckland councillors he was fronting up to in a live-streamed meeting on Thursday.
Responding to a question from Auckland Mayor Phil Goff on the ability of the Auckland stadium to be financially self-sufficient, Sautner name-dropped the 78-year-old Streisand - who has sold 150 million records worldwide.
"Obviously there's commercial sensitivities around each of the events, and it differs from Six60 through to Barbra Streisand," Sautner said.
"What I would say is our corporate suite interest has been enormous since we've announced concerts and the annual price of the licence for the suites have gone up approximately $25,000 almost overnight."
Several Auckland councillors jumped on the comments from the Eden Park chief executive, including Desley Simpson who was chairing the council Finance and Performance meeting.
"Did I hear you might be bringing Barbra Streisand? Or was that just a name you …"
Sautner jumped in with a half chuckle responding: "This isn't being recorded is it?"
Auckland councillor Daniel Newman was also struck by the comment.
"Yeah my eyes sort of popped up when I heard that as well, not that I'm necessarily a fan," Newman said.
Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner. File photo / Jason Oxenham
Now laughing, Sautner made playful reference to another rumour in 2018 that the Spice Girls might play at the Auckland stadium.
"We also had the opportunity a couple of years ago about the Spice Girls," Sautner said.
A social media post from Eden Park Stadium's official instagram account in June 2018 read "Spice up your Eden Park! #spicegirlsreunion #spicegirls2018 #edenparknz".
An Eden Park spokesperson said Sautner's comments this week were "not an announcement but rather an example of the broad genres we are exploring".
"Previously Phil Collins, Eminem, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and the Spice Girls have either floated the idea of touring Auckland or have toured other parts of Aotearoa, bypassing the country's largest city," the spokesperson said.
The big $25,000 price jump in corporate stadium suites Sautner mentioned comes as Kiwi band Six60 were announced on Monday as the first band to play at Eden Park on April 24.
Eden Park now has the ability to hold six concerts each year at the stadium in the inner Auckland suburb of Mt Eden.
Sautner also told the Auckland Council governing body in Thursday's meeting that the stadium is expecting to generate $500,000 to $800,000 in revenue for each of the six concerts.
In a statement provided to the Herald on Sunday, Sautner said the stadium has "a list of local and global artists just waiting for the opportunity".
"Eden Park has been inundated with inquiries from local and international promoters seeking pencil bookings for 2022," Sautner said.
"Artists and fans have been starved of opportunities to experience stadium tours over the past 12 months and we are confident that 2022 will see us host six concerts in line with the conditions of our resource consent.
"We are encouraged by the level of interest and excitement in Six60's history-making concert and we now have a key role to play in contributing to Aotearoa's economic recovery through the successful hosting of major events."
Streisand has performed relatively recently with a large UK concert in London's Hyde Park in July 2019.
In July 2020, Streisand publicly praised Jacinda Ardern for her response to the coronavirus.
"We need more women in charge of public health. Jacinda Arden, [sic] the PM in New Zealand, which has had only 22 deaths, had NO new cases in that island nation in 83 days," Streisand posted on July 25 last year.
The US singer is one of the most successful recording artists in history, and has sold the most records of any female US performing artist.
She is also one of only 16 people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.