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.