Game on, lets go people!!!

With the Dunedin City Council’s decision to go a head with the proposed stadium of Dunedin, there are many issues that are worth investigating. I hope to cover as many of these as possible, and if anyone has issues, I will endeavour where possible to discuss these too. Having said that, I am a supporter of the Stadium, and am not prepared to get into a debate about the merits or otherwise of the stadium in the terms set out by the likes of Syd Aide.

There are still many concerns that many people righty have issue with. Some are concerned about the cost and the impact on the economy of Dunedin. Some are concerned about the environmental impact and yet others (like myself) have concerns about the design and functionality of the project.

But basically the concerns can be categorised into economic and architectural. The economic concerns cover the whole gambit of issues from the economic impact on the ratepayers, the economic feasibility of such a project, through to the economic impact on the city of Dunedin. The architectural and or design issues are coupled with usability (who and what will the stadium be used for – or what can it be used for), which is of course intertwined with the design. From the off I thought this stadium should have been designed to include at the very least One Day or 20-20 cricket and hence a more oval concept would have been needed. Other issues surrounding this include the wider area, whom will fill the space around the stadium, and what will be the evolving resolution of issues surrounding public transport.

There is a wealth of academic material on the subject of Stadium design, construction and it’s social and economic impacts. There is also a wealth of material surrounding the newly constructed structures such as the O2 Arena (the new-old Millennium Dome), which has undergone massive transformations in it’s short 8 year life, bringing it back from the brink of disaster, to a resounding economic and social success. The success of the transformation of this majestic complex can be seen in the likes of the music artist Prince selling out 21 dates at the O2 Arena – a phenomenal success by any account.

There seemed little point bloging about these issues if the stadium wasn’t going to go ahead, but now it has the green light, it seems valid to debate the issues in greater detail now.

As I have said, there is a wealth of published material on Stadia globally, and I will try to cover as many of these as possible, sticking to the two loose concepts of economic (including social) impact and the design and functionality of the complex. While much of the material comes out of the US, and the economics are vastly different, the points raised by these are on the whole relevant.

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3 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Design, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Site, Stadiums

3 responses to “Game on, lets go people!!!

  1. Peter Entwisle

    The Dunedin City Council has not decided “to go ahead” with the proposed stadium. It has given it some heavily conditional support. (So has the Otago Regional Council.)

    The O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome, was funded by the UK government which has much deeper pockets than Dunedin or Otago. It’s initial failure would financially eviscerate this region. Its later success stems from its siting in London with a surrounding population of 15m people and home to many international stars and acts. Prince wouldn’t sell one out act in Dunedin if only because Prince won’t come to Dunedin, with or without a covered stadium – as event promoters have pointed out.

  2. But this is my point precisely Peter. If we are using the most basic of our human traits, that to be able to learn, then the CST should have already studied at depth what went on at O2 and learning from their failures.

    Those concert promoters you talk about are the ones contacted by D-Scene, whom are running a campaign against the stadium (their choice I am fine with that). However asking Auck and Wgtn promoters if they would be bringing artists down here (presumably at the expense of their home towns) would be akin to asking the Otago Rugby Union to play home games at Eden Park and forfit the economic benefit for the hometown region. Of course they won’t be bringing acts here, they’re not going to short change their business associates whom will all loose money in the process.

    We need someone local whom will take the role of these people. And just because they are the incumbents doesn’t mean they are the only ones allowed to promote acts in this country. With that attitude Flying Nun, Animation Research, Natural History, Fisher and Paykel all should never have set up shop.

    More can do and less can’t do is the name of the game. Otherwise could the last one out please turn off the light Dunedin.

  3. Peter Entwisle

    D-Scene isn’t running a campaign against the stadium. It’s just giving a bit more space to opponents than the Otago Daily Times is. Neither paper has announced an editorial attitude.

    The Wellington events promoters are in the business of making money. If there were money in staging events in Dunedin they would do it – and in any case it wouldn’t hurt their activities in Wellington and Auckland.

    It is true anyone could try their hand at staging high profile acts in Dunedin but the comparison with O2 is – worse than far-fetched.

    One would like to think the CST people had considered these things carefully but the evidence is against it. They haven’t named anyone who is prepared to try to stage the events they’re talking about in Dunedin and the only people who do stage such events in New Zealand have said they wouldn’t in Dunedin. And not because they don’t like Dunedin.

    If you want people to spend more than $100m on your dream you need to come up with something more convincing than this.

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