Monthly Archives: January 2009


Sometime today while the protest was on this site passed through the 10,000 visitors barrier, yippie. Yeah don’t split yourself laughing, it’s not big really, but it’s an important issue for this city and here’s hoping someone’s worries have been alleviated or hopefully not confirmed. At least there is discourse and dialogue. Cheers all, much appreciated.

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Live from the March – Update 1.2.09

{Update 1.2.09- DCC Debt Table c/- R Walls}

Bit of a long winded way of doing things, but I’ll be posting asap (if anything happens) and blogging soon.

Lets see if this will be the biggest thing in Dunedin ever. Apparently 80% are against it, lets see.

At march. Reasonable turn out possibly 1500-2000 but hardly the biggest thing to hit the city.

Auditor General is useless apparently? Bev is so wise.

Phase 1 stop direct debit
Delay rates at 10% penalty.

Fucking poll tax in thatcher’s britain, what that has to do with anything? 80% of the country wanted to keep homosexuality illegal.

She’s getting a head of steam up now.

Prof Harris lied again re MSL rise. Once again 1m rise is not fact

Lee Vanderviss settling in for the long haul.

Selling seats isn’t raising private money. Repeating 300m price myth

Actually biggest lies and bullshit coming from him, most dissapointing. Aparently talking in slow dulcet tones adds weight to his rubbish.

News flash CST is a joke? Apparently won’t be built by 2011

Dave witherow. This is going to be funny.

Callled it an abortion, councilors are shit scared? Councilors are brain dead. The good stuff is coming now.

Cost has gone from $5m to $20-30 in 2006. This guy is a twat. When you are quoting Rodney Hide you are desperate.

Calling Chin a moron. Selling assets to trust power for $1??? Is this right.

Wrong, democracy is every 3 years

Heckler! And cop car arrived with lights within seconds.

Jesus he’s repreting all of the lies. Taking the piss out of papal visit. He’s even talked to the popes representative! On and on about single use.

Biggest cheer is for saving carisbrook, now there’s no surprise.

Horse shit and hijack, this man is good (not)

Shareholders are leaving Forsyth Barr in droves.

You said it sunshine, anyone can be fooled.

All done what a fizzer. Seriously a good turn out bit if that was the single biggest isssue to hit the city ever. What a joke.


At home. Sorry the poor grammatical and linguistic effort, tapping away on my iPhone (although brilliant) is still a little slow when trying to keep up.

You are probably right, it was more like 1000-1500 tops, roughly the same as the previous march I attended. Funny, a good friend of mine, Anti Stadium, stuck a sticker on my back without me knowing. So I was able to mooch about the place taking pics left right and centre.

Pro Stadium very much in the minority (I counted 10), but this wasn’t their protest. I seemed to disappoint some of my friends when I heckled the speakers.

Seriously if anyone knows Prof Harris personally, please have a word to her to stop repeating the global warming line. Apart from being inaccurate, I overheard so many people talking about what a load of rubbish it was. So thankfully some of the misinformation has been dissected as rubbish, that heartened me a lot.

I’ll repeat it again for the sake of being boring, if you think that the financial burden to the city will be too much, that is your opinion and completely legitimate.

A couple of the mums there were being very nice, but kept asking me if I thought it through, am I a ratepayer etc. Nice to know I can fool some into thinking I am young and irresponsible.

Dear old Sid didn’t bother me as much as he has in the past. Genuine concern, if not misguided.

As I said Prof Harris again really needs to stay Schtum, there is a lifetime of brilliant work being publicly whittled away. I mean it’s been a few weeks now since the public hearings and I still can’t find any published material to support her figures – and I have tried.

Bev, less froth than I imagined, still angry, but really if that was it, phew. Didn’t like me suggesting that her rates revolt was illegal. As far as I understand and inc society can not advocate illegal action. It WILL hurt those who supposedly can’t afford it. If you break an AP, the bank charges you, if you set another one up, they charge you. If you don’t pay your rates without fair reason you get a bad credit rating. If that bad credit rating hinders any future chance for applying for credit, you really have shot yourself in the foot.

And after you have obtained bad credit and not paid your rates or paid them late, she will let you know what the next stage of protest will be. Translated, it’s going to be so illegal we better not mention it now, or I have no bloody idea, but trust me? Either is a little scary.

Bev this is not even remotely similar to Thatchers Poll tax issue, don’t puff your chest about that one.

Very very disappointed by Lee Vandervis, repeated much of the misinformation. You can’t have it both ways Lee. Selling seats and corporate boxes IS private money. This quite disingenuously is how stadia worldwide collect revenue. They are not your seats, they are seats to be sold.

Wow facts and figures re commodities sky rocketing etc all over the place and unfortunately I didn’t have fast enough fingers to check them, or jot down what was being said. I can rest assure than many of the costs have come down. It is not going to be a $300m stadium. The $188m is 2011 money, talk of changing foundations and altering design as a pointer to extra costs is just devious. This is all part of the design and construct process. But any intelligent person without a barrow to push would know that.

Witherow was massively boring. Seems calling people names legitimises claims?

ODT estimates 1300, Police estimate 1000 – somewhere around there was about right, but once again, if it was anything like Thatchers Poll tax or the single biggest thing to hit Dunedin, they are probably about 6-8000 people off having any real teeth. Sure people don’t march, they had work etc, but that could easily be explained away as margin of error crowd.

Update: In relation to Bev claiming that DCC debt was hundreds of millions of dollars and about to balloon out of control, I have been sent this table by Cr Richard Walls.

Nothing like facts to get in the way of a good crowd frenzy lie/misinterpretation.

DCC Debt

Some pics.


Bev was proud as punch, which I think is what the short grey haired woman on the left was on, boy was she angry and frothing at a poor dissenter.


The usual suspects, although apart from Bev, Sid and Josslyn I have no idea who they are.


There was a clown or court jester or something? Is this Damien?


If not misguided, at least this lot isn’t apathetic, unlike the thousands of others who should have been there. There were people concerned about the poo, others concerned about council services, and the biggest cheer of the day went to whoever it was suggested that Rugby at a preserved Carisbrook is the best option (House of Pain die-hards).


A little mean – tumble weed anyone? The man closest in white shirt didn’t appreciate any dissent at all. Witherow is a little angry eh?

Finally, thanks to Skyscraper City for the following image from the Octagon web cam during the march. You can see the seething masses through the leaves. Beautiful spot, look at all of those awful people unfriendly cars though, but that’s for another blog coming soon eh!



Filed under Hot air, Media, Politics, STS

Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza

ODT 30 Jan 2009

The $188 million stadium in Dunedin, if it goes ahead, will be named Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza.

Principals of the Dunedin-based sharebroking and investment company yesterday signed a 10-year agreement with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust for the “head naming rights”.

Neither party would say how much the deal was worth.

Forsyth Barr chairman Eion Edgar would say only that it was a “significant sum”, but was “certainly not” what the trust would have liked “and probably more than we would have liked to pay”.

While the suggested value of the naming rights has not previously been divulged publicly, in December 2007 trust marketing adviser Brian Meredith reported to the Dunedin City Council that head naming rights would equate to up to 22% of the $45.5 million required from private sector funding – a sum equivalent to just over $10 million.

After a signing ceremony for the media yesterday, managing director Neil Paviour-Smith, of Wellington, said the move would give the company profile, “putting our name on an asset that will have some prominence, not just in Dunedin, but throughout New Zealand”.

The company was founded in Dunedin in 1936 and the opening of the stadium would coincide with the company’s 75th anniversary, he said.

Full story here…


Filed under Economics, Media, Name, Politics, Stadiums

Who is the eloquent writer for the StS now?

I almost didn’t want to dignify Hayden or the StS with a jibe at the anti-stadium lot, but who the hell is writing their material now.

Militant and aggressive are understatements. Take for instance the latest froth coming from them;

“petrified councillors”
“who have forfeited all claim to moral legitimacy”
“we want this bloodsucker buried”
“The only thing now that can defeat us is apathy”
“Mobilise your own battalion and reclaim your city”

Holly Crap, will Pinky* be there, will there be uniforms, well considering Hayden Meikle’s description of Dave Witherow’s attack on him, not a lot seems to surprise me from this lot any more.

* Who is Pinkie

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Fact or Fiction

Just for Fun



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When political satire goes Good.

Here’s how Graphical Political Satire could have been done.


Although these will never see the light of day, I think my efforts at appropriation graphical political design (duh using the Tui billboards for satire) are far superior.

However being an intelligent person, I quickly found how to contact Tui and sought permission.

Despite the wording changing, yeah right became “not likely”, the bird became a Dodo and the Tui brand became StS (not hard really), I even changed the colour, Tui still respectfully asked if I not use them – sorry guys, IMHO they were genius.

However the Tui guy did also thank me for seeking permission first. Someone on the Anti side is in trouble I rather fancy.

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what was I saying about hook line and sinker

My main (possibly only) beef with Anti-Stadium folk is the level of debate and the massive misinformation campaign that has been waged against Our Stadium. I have been concerned for a long time now that the fallacies of the opponents might just disseminate into public discourse as a matter of fact, I’ve been fed these misconceptions from time to time, now it seems this stuff really is settling in as fact in the public domain.

And the proof as they say is in the pudding, take for instance this comment on the ODT comments section.

“Building Dunedin a ‘multi-purpose’ stadium is the stupidest
idea in the world. It is ridiculous. The successful stadiums
in the world are all purpose built, Indianapolis, Nou-camp,
Twickenham. If it is about money, don’t build it at all, fix
Carisbrook, use the heritage drawcard and make a rugby
stadium. Have ’boutique tests’ at uni oval, (though that is
also stupid, Dunedin will benifit more from 20/20). Fix the
Regent Theatre if you want shows, it is beautiful.
Multi purpose has no soul, like burned out Olympic

Where do you start with that, honestly. I mean it wasn’t good enough for Dr Hamlin of the university to make the stupid, fallacious and erroneous suggestion that Twickenham was a single use stadium, and it’s simply not good enough for the public to use this line of argument.

It is also quite erroneous to suggest that the only successful stadiums are single use. The infamous Rogers Centre and O2 arena are testament to that.

Yes we could do-up Carisbrook and yes we could ‘trade’ on the heritage factor of Carisbrook, but what would we have but a 30,000 open air stadium, just like all of the other open air 30K regional stadiums. Where would be the point of difference, and what would be the attraction for events to come to the bottom of the country that could just use other open aired 30K stadiums. Does Dunedin really want to compete with Harrow stadium for 3rd tier test match, because at the end of the day, a lesser option for Carisbrook will not satisfy the NZRFU, and quite frankly wouldn’t garner the interest of other sporting bodies necessary to make this a working venture.

I agree the Regent is beautiful, but if Multi-Purpose is soulless, then empty for 90% of the time single use stadiums must be by very definition a virtual graveyard. Rather a soulless but used stadium than a testament to bygone days used less than 10% of the year.

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Dunedin 2010

OK, still 20 months out, but Richard gave me the idea tonight that it’s not too early to start thinking about the 2010 elections. With that in mind and my fascination of all things social media and modern communication, coupled with my love/hate of the media and passion for politics, here goes the new venture Dunedin2010.

Lets use the full power of the web to communicate every aspect of the election. There is no excuse (apart from not being online) for us not to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblar, WordPress, Flickr, I won’t at this stage be including MySpace in the mix (unless someone convinces me otherwise).

So it’s only a start, but we have Flickr accounts, Twitter accounts – follow it @dunedin2010, there will be a facebook page and all of the other relevant social media bookmarking and linking accounts.

More to follow, but in the meantime, lets show up the tradition media and see how far we can push the envelope of political informed social media.

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And they're tuning in

Not that I’m going to be able to tell who exactly will be the 10,000th visitor to the site, and considering this is a daily amount for some of the big sites out there, I’m still very happy that within a week or so, we’ll have hit 10,000 visitors to this site.

Now for some this isn’t a big deal, but with an average of 70 unique visitors a day (not the same people coming back over a day) I’m quite wrapped that in some way I (and everyone here included) have been able to foster debate and understanding of the stadium issue, and from both sides. It’s been very pleasing to see the site go from 1-2 visitors a day (thanks mum), through to the 20-30 middle of last year, and now it’s a very steady average of 70. The record number of unique visitors to the site was July 23, 2008, was there an announcement that day? If the trend keeps going, it will be within a couple of weeks that we might hit 100 unique visitors a day.

{update: Busiest ever day was actually today! As I said, the numbers are not groundbreaking in blog terms, but for this issue, this is great}

We have been pretty well served with three major sites covering this issue, if the people of Dunedin did have access to the web and knew about these sites, then they had every chance of getting a handle on the debate. Sadly the StS site all but grinding to a halt (despite my qualms with Anne as strict web-mistress, bring back Anne), and SkyScraper City doing it’s thing, you can’t say there hasn’t been opportunity to debate the stadium in all it’s glory.

Even if they aren’t commenting, at least they are reading. Here’s hoping others will get involved and add their 2cents worth, because after all the web and the blogosphere is the new “Simple on a Soap Box”

Cheers all, well done democracy.

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Breaking News: StS to break the law

In an email to the StS members today, Bev Butler has suggested

“In a responsive, honest democracy, the stadium would be dead long ago. For the council to continue, against an eighty percent opposition, demonstrates an incomprehensible arrogance that must soon push people into more radical modes of opposition. A rates revolt has been suggested, and Stop The Stadium intends to organise this in the near future, if reason does not prevail.”

As stated by Vilder over at Skyscraper City “As with any person or organisation, an incorporated society must comply with the laws of New Zealand. This includes not undertaking criminal activities, meeting any tax obligations and complying with any government agency requirements that may apply to the society’s activites.”

Bev, you live in a democracy, not a citizens initiated referendacy (if that is an allowable term). If and once again if this campaign had been on reasoned information and not half of the rubbish that has come from you personally then I might have almost agreed. But the simple fact of the matter is that this campaign has been based upon lies (almost too many to mention once again), misinformation and of course disinformation. That is no way to conduct a public discussion, and one that is so important to this city.

If we are to believe that might is right, with 80% of the population and some 800,000+ signatures (including Mickey Mouse’s) against the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, the decent 10% gay population of this country would still be institutionally discriminated against.

By all means break the law. I have an issue with the city issuing parking tickets (never had one myself but they are evil right?), can I please withhold my rates. Lets see how long this so called support you have remains. And you thought Elizabeth Kerr and Pete Entwistle were mad for suggesting legal and proper avenues of recourse. It’s easy to see that you have probably had a plan of some sort of irrational civil disobedience all along, if we can be that generous with any suggestion of fore thinking with you.

I agree if there had been ‘reasoned’ debate then we would be in a different situation. You are proving that there is nothing reasoned in your world.


Filed under Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics, STS

Neutral – humph?

Well it didn’t really take long for the ‘truth’ or as Dr Williams puts it ‘facts’ to out.

Two University of Otago lecturers undertook a public survey of the people to gauge public support for the venture. They claimed neutrality, merely wanting to seek where public opinion on the issue. However this was questioned from the start and continued right up till publication of the survey, as the draft questions were heavily loaded against the stadium development. The initial question raised serious concern about the so called neutrality of the process. However the question which was published was less loaded, and the process went ahead.

The results of the survey were collated, ‘normalised’ and presented. The results was that a large majority of the people didn’t want a publicly funded stadium. Since then there has been some questioning of the methodology and neutrality, although I have less concerns about these than others. What has emerged is that Dr Williams has realised that he is suddenly embroiled in the political process.
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This is going to be fun

31st Jan from 12pm then anywhere down George St.

Be civil, but let the buggers know that they have been duped. Here’s a quick primer for you if anyone tries to tell you a,b and c reasons why the stadium shouldn’t be built.

These have all been used by opponents of the stadium as conclusive reasons as to why we shouldn’t build a stadium. Public health warning, reading this list may cause medical problems as you may split a side laughing too much – I hear it’s painful.

And this is just a small list of the what has been thrown up as conclusive reasons

Capacity = less than 20,000 {WRONG}
Single Use {WRONG}
$500m + {WRONG}
Global Warming = Flooded Area {WRONG}
Terroist Target {Only if they are the most incompetent terrorists in the world and took a wrong turn at ended up in an 80s spoof comedy – WRONG}
The Grass Won’t Grow {WRONG}
The Plastic Won’t Work {WRONG}
The University won’t be involved {WRONG}
Causing Businesses to leave because of bad internet {WRONG}
Temptation will lead students astray {WRONG}
South Dunedin will float away {Cookooo Wrong} No seriously someone said that is sticking by it.
Rugby Tests wont be there {WRONG}
Taking Business Land {WRONG}
Rugby Only {WRONG}
World Recession {WRONG}
Location + Cutting off access to leith {WRONG}
Risk of flooding from Leith {WRONG}
Building will sink from Liquifaction {WRONG}
Safety in a disaster too many people {WRONG and what about current stadiums?}
Carisbrook is ok {WRONG}
Will halt sewage treatment {WRONG}
will halt clean drinking water {WRONG}
It’s an ugly building {WRONG}

So be civil to the poor souls for they know not what they are (not) supporting. Basically they haven’t a clue why they are against the stadium as the list of misinformation, malicious rumours, false and erroneous facts and figures, and fantastical claims is big and growing day by day. Just today I was told that Portobello Road is going to disappear into the water so the council should be spending money raising the road – I know, I did offer a health warning. Nice though eh, it did and still has put a smile on my face, can do with a good giggle from time to time.

I’d like someone, somehow to defend any of these false and malicious claims. The reasoning might be interesting, and give us an insight as to how an opponent of the stadium works.

But get out there, and do your best to counter their arguments, be civil and most of all enjoy your democracy.


Filed under Economics, Hot air, Stadiums

New features – New Site

As you may have noticed, after meandering along at a steady rate of visitors over the last year or so, this blog has taken off since the StS imploded and their web site became as fast as an advancing glacier. That aside, this blog will be taking a new direction early this year, to encompass the whole “built environment’ of Dunedin, and the social and political implications of the wider town planning issues facing this city.

What I’ll effectively be doing is handing over the absolute power (maniacal evil villain laughter) I currently wield to guest or co-authors, on a broad topic of their choosing – Town Planning, Historical, Design, Architectural, Road planning etc. Their views I may not necessarily agree with, but then that’s democracy, and since this forum has gathered nice momentum, it would be a massive shame to let the networks we’ve developed (friend and foe) to dissipate. If anyone has visited Public Address, the previous old site of Auckland blogger Russell Brown, you’ll have a feel for what I am aiming for. It’s now a place where a core of contributors add to the whole site. And let’s face it, unless there is a mass shooting or a student riot, the Auckland media don’t give a toss what’s happening down here, but we should be.

So while looking for a scholarly angle, I don’t want this to become a place for purely academic endeavour, as there are way too many people outside of the Uni who have so much to offer. There may even be mysterious contributors “Fake Peter Chin”? Another excellent example is, in which a variety of contributors on so many issues make an excellent read.

So keep coming back, if you haven’t said boo yet (I know the stats, there are some very silent visitors), by all means say hi, put your two cents worth in, and I look forward to presenting a new version of this site in the near future. Who knows we may even be able to sort out the pot holes in our streets.

In the mean time, check out the reading list, I’ll be adding every day, and if you’ve got some to add, I’ve left comments open on that page. Cheers all and BTW Happy New Year.

Also, what should we call it? I’m angling for The Social and Built Environment of Dunedin, but an very open to suggestions (i’ll run a poll on the most favoured suggestions). Finally, who do you want to see contributing to this place (yes sorry guys I’ll still be posting). You all know way more people here than I do, who would be a fantastic read, who knows stuff about this city, and stuff about stuff.

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ODT summary of the saga

D-Day. Will the Stadium Survive? ODT 8 Jan 2009

David Loughrey of the ODT has written a full page summary of the debate over the possible construction of a new stadium here in Dunedin. Most visiting this blog have a fair idea of the whole funny/nasty/interesting/long/thoughtful debate to date. However if you don’t and want a primer of the issues, this is well worth a read.

After two years and the spending of $45 million of ratepayers’ money, the Otago Stadium issue is still not finally resolved. Dunedin City Council reporter David Loughrey looks back on a year of prolonged and bitter public debate on an issue that will not go away.

The date has yet to be decided, but in early February both the Dunedin city and Otago regional councils will sit – again – to decide whether what is now called the Otago Stadium should either go ahead, or be stopped in its tracks.

Dunedin City Council chief executive Jim Harland says the meeting dates will have to fit in with the councils’ annual plan timetables and, for the city council, its plan has to go to Audit New Zealand by February 11.

The stadium has been through any number of big decisions, lines in the sand and exit points, and – seemingly unstoppable – has always managed to come out the other side.

It now faces its biggest test, with the world financial crisis giving decision-makers some serious jitters.

The full story here.

For me, he hit the nail on the head though with a nice summary of the main issues.

“Issues at the heart of the debate include whether the city can afford to build and then operate such a massive project, what role local authorities have outside providing core services, and whether they should be funding a stadium.”

All of the other red herrings and preposterous claims like global warming flooding, terrorism, elderly housing opportunity costs etc just aren’t part of the discussion.

Worth buying the ODT for this alone, if not, do have a read online.

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The Hall Monitor of Parliament can’t poke his sticky face into our affairs – thank goodness.

“In a response to a plea from Ratepayers and Householders Association chairman Syd Adie to help stop the stadium, Mr Hide said he was responsible for the legal framework in which councils operated, not their specific decisions or actions.”

From the ODT online today, Hide ‘unable to intervene’ on stadium.

“Therefore, I am unable to intervene in any decisions the councils make about the proposed stadium.”

Mr Hide has said he did not think it was the sort of infrastructure the Government should be supporting.

Of course he doesn’t, the free marketeer ideologue can’t see past his laissez-faire dogma. Meanwhile the Australian Government in it’s Infrastructure bail-out/spend-up inspired by the political/economic ideologies that must really annoy Mr Hide, Keynesian Economics, have deemed that a portion of the money they are giving to each state must be spent on stadium upgrades. Seems that Stadiums come under Infrastructure in OZ (no surprise really considering how much importance their national identity is defined by sporting achievement). I’ve argued that the definition of Infrastructure has shifted radically in the last fifty years, and is no longer restricted to the traditional roads, bridges etc.

So thank goodness that Mr Hide & Mr Aide can’t get their way, and here’s hoping that the new government has been looking across the Tasman to see where they are distributing money their Infrastructure stimulus package.


Filed under Economics, Hot air, Town planning

Eckhoff, no not Darwin, Columbus, Galileo, please.

Re: ODT Article Sat 3 Jan

I couldn’t agree more with Cr Eckhoff that discourse is the best way to come to an achievable or desirable goal, but simple dissent for the sake of it is no noble endeavour. It is somewhat strange (although not at all surprising) that Eckhoff likens those opposing the construction of a stadium to famous figures of the past. However, unlike those opposing the stadium, the gentlemen mentioned were proven right in that what they were seeking was actually already there, a verifiable fact or phenomenon (a Continent, The Cosmos and Evolution), it’s just that the conventional wisdom of the day denied the existence of such things (ironically more often than not by the church which Eckhoff places high in societal development). Unlike the supposed Terrorist Treat (about as likely as one of Galileo’s cosmic entities landing on the stadium), the false and incorrect threat that Anthropocentric Global Warming and the resultant rise in mean sea level will flood the area, and other erroneous claims, the three historical figures mentioned were proven correct through endeavour and scientific discipline, of something that was real. No manner of hypothesises testing will rise the level of the sea to that of a threat to the construction of the stadium.

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Things you can do with a field #1

Take a famous baseball field, throw in some innovative marketers, change the sport and there you have it, the 2009 NHL Winter Classic.

(front page Chicago Tribune Jan 1 2009)

Taking a cue from the Canadian Heritage Classic, the Winter Classic is a new tradition in the NHL (Ice Hockey to you and me, Hockey to North Americans), in which two teams are pitted against each other in a traditional and somewhat perilous out door arena, evoking the heritage and history of the fine sport of Ice Hockey.

This year the game is to be held at the distinctly single use stadium (in the Rob Hamlin sense of the word), the historical and distinguished home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field. In a little over 2 weeks, Wrigley Field was transformed into a competitive Ice Hockey arena, from that of a baseball field.

Why am I on about this, simply because people say that the new Carisbrook stadium won’t be used for anything other than 6-12 games of rugby a year, and that’s all. While others of us with a modicum of interest in seeing this thing succeed have suggested that the worlds your oyster when it comes to what we could host at this new fine stadium of ours. It has been suggested in the past that we could hold big Ice Hockey matches there (exhibition or International). People who have poo pooed this suggestion, make the point that there is a very good Ice Stadium in Dunedin. Indeed there is, the quality of the ice is almost unsurpassed in NZ, while the boards (and the glass you look through) is Olympic quality. Only problem, there’s seating for, I don’t know, 150 people (tongue in cheek). I’ve previously suggested that this stadium will succeed only on the innovative marketing and stadium management needed in the modern entertainment world, and I still firmly believe this today.

So just as Chicago is home to the perfectly good 22,000 capacity United Centre (ok massive understatement), home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks (designed by our very own HOK sport in 1992), yet they decide to play an exhibition game in the freezing cold (last time I looked it was minus 12C in the midday sun), why for marketing and innovation, and the NHL record crowd for a regular season game – 71,000 last Jan 1.

Don’t believe me that this is big in Chicago, go over the the Tribune’s web site, it’s on the front page, and they are making a big deal of it, rolling out past legends from Chicago etc. This is a nice graphic of how to turn a single use stadium into a ‘field of dreams’ for a big show, and of course a graphic showing how to keep ice cold on a grass surface.

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Again why is this interesting? Simply because the ‘mini winter Olymics’ to be held in Otago over the next few years will of course. The $5m dollar even will attract 700 competitors from 30 countries, and of course the events will be held all over Otago, at the best venues. Simply put 1+1 together and if anyone with a half innovative marketing brain could tell you, if they can do it on grass in Chicago, then we can do it on grass in NZ.

This is possibly just one of dozens of reasons why the stadium must be built and the very best marketing and stadium management team be assembled. Like the O2 arena in London and Rogers Centre in Toronto, the success or failure of such venues comes down more or less to management and marketing, of which the rest of the world doesn’t hold a monopoly on.

Only shame is Sky in it’s infinite wisdom doesn’t deem Ice Hockey a big enough sport to play on TV here in NZ. I’ll have to rely on podcasts and all manner of web tools to catch the game early morning 2nd Jan (for us in NZ).

why not, just because we can and there might be other Hockey fans out there, here are the highlights from that game.

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