Poor Crowd Indeed

In response to Sam, his poor sources and his stereotypes.

without wanting to disappoint you, I am very much not a”Rugby Union Type”, my first love is Football – the beautiful game – the worlds game, my second love is that most English of games with whites and a little shiny red ball, my third sport would be Baseball, fourth Ice Hockey, fifth American Football then Rugby and Darts more or less equal. Dang where does F1 fit in there?

But once again stereotypical assumptions are very easy to create when debating this stadium project. Imagine my disappointment when I saw the design of the stadium that didn’t include cricket.

Considering that the capacity of the AMI stadium sans an entire half of the stadium is a little over 16,000, I would say it’s complete bollocks and completely disingenuous of the Canberra Times to call the crowd of 14,000 disappointing. The place was pretty much full with some space at the far end stand, not that I know what it’s called anymore.

You see this was my first trip to AMI stadium since the demolition of the old embankment, so gutted was I to see it go. I remember my only infamous simulcast mention on radio and TV was an ill fated cricket match at the then Lancaster Park. There I was sitting with 2 other people on the embankment in my shorts in the snow hoping for the cricket to start. Perseverance paid off as the day eventually turned fine and play remarkably too place that afternoon.

So when in CHCH last weekend when my old man (who had played rugby colts level for Canterbury in 1958) won tickets to the Crusaders game, I was more than happy to go along. And what did I do the whole time, but look all around and snap as many pics of the new Paul Kelly stand.

Take a good long hard look at that image at the top. If that is what the Canberra Times calls a disappointing crowd, considering it’s still the cricket season, it was very cold for the time of the year, and crowds at this time of the year are traditionally exceedingly poor. I would say that a couple of thousand shy of the full capacity of a redeveloping stadium isn’t too bloody bad a result.

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5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Hot air, Media, Politics, Stadiums

5 responses to “Poor Crowd Indeed

  1. Elizabeth

    Last night’s Super 14 Highlanders v Hurricanes rugby match at Westpac Stadium, crowd size: 10,136.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/44509/rugby-another-heart-breaker-highlanders

  2. But this isn’t the fault of a stadium, it can’t be. It’s a failure of the Rugby administrators.

    Super 14,15,16 or whatever Rugby is played way too early in the season. People are still clued into the summer sports and all of the leisure time associated with them.

    I loath the fact that rugby starts in Feb and ends just before xmas. My first love Premier League is already too long at 9months, but the most successful league in world sport doesn’t see it’s success and offer more games, it offers better quality.

    Come 2011 when the stadium is complete and the country is riding one of those media induced RWC frenzies, we won’t be grumbling about the small crowds, we’ll be moaning that we won’t be able to get tickets as the corporate groups have them all.

    But then again, this only highlights why this development will be potentially so different from anything previously done in NZ;

    it will have a roof, shielding it from the elements,
    it will be multipurpose and not dependent on income from one sport source only.

    If these two elements come together this will be the point of difference from the rest of the country.

    I still have a problem with the tight entertainment shy public of NZ. In the past we went to all of the big concerts, all of the big sporting fixtures. These days, no matter what is handed on a platter to the public, in NZ we have developed an apathy to these things. This makes me exceedingly nervous about the development, but then again if the point of difference is marketed correctly then it has huge potential to bring people out of this ‘entertainment funk’.

    In the past the conventional wisdom in marketing is that you had to have a product that people wanted. As so aptly demonstrated by the likes of Disney and all of the wonderful stadiums around the world, you need a good home for that product. That home needs to be as much about the product or experience of the product as anything else. The concept of Carisbrook is fantastic, just as is Disneyland. But Disneyland would only operate for so long if it was the piecemeal run down piece of junk that Carisbrook is.

    The two times I have been to Disneyland, it was as much about the physical ‘home’ as it was about the characters and entertainment. Likewise the time I was able to sneak into Fenway Park at the end of a World Series Playoff Game. I mean who sneaks into a stadium after the game, but this is the power of a place like Fenway. I walked around for about an hour just taking it in, camera run down to empty battery and all but full memory card.

    If the new stadium isn’t just about Rugby, rugby realises eventually not to keep diluting it’s product and there is a marketable point of difference from the rest of the country, then this has a huge chance to succeed.

  3. Elizabeth

    My guess is the proposed stadium (Forsyth Barr rugby pavilion) at Dunedin will not attract enough business from other sports, activities and events to make it operationally viable or affordable to a small, generally low income population. I’ve toured a number of stadia in the States to admire the superstructure and facilities out of game time, Disneyland too – and all roller coasters and tallest buildings available.

    To be sure the stadium for Dunedin is not a thrill seeker’s paradise in any sense of the design for multiuse.

    Why roof a rectangular field. Architectural design 101 students know better. Oh. Cost of construction you say. That’s so not reason enough.

    We could use it to stockpile Fonterra’s milk powder while the prices improve. Presuming we can get a rail line in and access for B trains.

  4. Elizabeth

    Wespac Stadium attendance levels (2000 – 2006) published by Dunedin City Council in ‘Relevant documents for the Awatea Street Stadium’

    http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/25032/Appendix-2—Westpac-Stadium-Events-Schedule-and-Attendance.pdf

  5. Richard

    “But this isn’t the fault of a stadium, it can’t be. It’s a failure of the Rugby administrators……Super 14,15,16 or whatever Rugby is played way too early in the season. People are still clued into the summer sports and all of the leisure time associated with them……If the new stadium isn’t just about Rugby, rugby realises eventually not to keep diluting it’s product and there is a marketable point of difference from the rest of the country, then this has a huge chance to succeed……
    I loath the fact that rugby starts in Feb and ends just before Xmas” – Paul.

    My PERSONAL views exactly. And too many night games. Which is why I did not renew my ORFU Ground Member’s Seats 3 years ago after 50 years of going to The ‘Brook for rugby and cricket.

    I did not allow these personal views to intrude on the judgement call I make as a councillor. As I said on 9 February at council, the issue is not about my affection for ‘The Brook and the memorable times it has given me (cricket and rugby), it is not about our past, but the city’s and province’s future.

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