NZRU goes for "10-team affair"

Four teams from the current Air New Zealand Cup are facing the axe…

### Last updated 17:54 20/06/2009
Rugby Heaven
NZ domestic rugby structure decided
By Duncan Johnstone

New Zealand’s premier domestic rugby championship will be reduced to a 10-team affair with two divisions operating below it. The New Zealand Rugby Union announced the changes on Saturday after meeting with the provinces in Wellington.
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Filed under Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Politics, Sport, Stadiums

22 responses to “NZRU goes for "10-team affair"

  1. “Domestic rugby championship will be reduced to a 10 team affair.”

    Refer to my thoughts to Richard about the future of the game. Due to the contamination of professionalism it is inevitable that the decline will be a progressive, drawn out process.

    Victims will be stadiums with decreasing events, until, in some cases (such as Dunedin) no events at all.

    Watch the decline accelerate after the 2011 World Cup when the NZRFU wakes up to find that their budgeted deficit of $50m (that’s right, $50m!) has blown out to the point where they are technically bankrupt, just like the ORFU.

    Then, watch the pleading to central government, local bodies, corporates etc. really kick in. It will not be a pretty sight.

  2. David

    NPC rugby at Carisbrook last year had a massive 18,500 spectators – not for one game, but the grand total of all spectators for all games over the whole season.

    Considering NPC will be about 30% of the total events at the new stadium, and ratepayers are funding around $13m per year – that’s a subsidy of around $216 for each spectator for each visit.

    And councillors think this is positive for the city. They’re either on another planet, or they’re not working for the city – they’re working for the ORFU.

  3. Phil

    My understanding would be that the user of the facility for the day would pay a flat fee to the stadium company to hire the facility. So the council owned stadium company would always receive the same amount, regardless of the number of spectators who turn up. The same way any of us would hire a facility. And the user would take the gate takings as their source of revenue for the day. So any loss through lack of attendance would be carried 100% by the user (eg ORFU) and not by the owner, being the council owned company in this case.

    Is that the way it’s intended to operate? One would assume so if it’s a genuine commercial venture, and not a sporting charity.

    The problem with this is that no user, especially one in the current financial state of the ORFU is going to be able to carry that sort of continuous loss indefinitely. And the NZRFU as underwriters of both the Highlanders and ORFU are in an equally poor financial position. So what happens then, if the core users of the facility cannot afford to hire the stadium? The only available option for the stadium owner is to reduce the rental charge and operate the facility at a loss for the majority of event days. Just as the ORFU appear to have done with Carisbrook, as both owner and operator. That’s putting an awfully big responsibility on the new roof.

  4. Phil;
    You have got it about right. And that is the way of stadiums all around the world. They have to be owned by the public and they have to be paid for by the public. There is no other way.

    Even fully occupied by patrons every function they still don’t work. Check out the situation with Manchester United which pre sells every seat for years in advance. The gladiators and their management take the money, the facility providers get the shortfall. It’s quite simple.

  5. “that’s a subsidy of around $216 for each spectator for each visit.”

    Have you factored in the carbon footprint, the GST, the length of time to repay, the opportunity cost on the foodbanks or potential inversely proportional displacement of employment within a certain radius of the stadium reality distortion field, these are all missing from your workings – very sloppy work David.

  6. “Due to the contamination of professionalism it is inevitable that the decline will be a progressive, drawn out process.”

    Don’t you just love the language of a bygone generation. The sport has not been ‘contaminated’, the sport had to evolve into a professional entity or it would have died long ago. There would have been no room in the late 1990s-2000s to ask young men to devote near on 10 months of their lives to playing a sport for the ‘love of it’.

    Your fatalism is not only regrettable, it’s also exceedingly Twain-ist (if there is a term), the reports of the death of Rugby are…

    “Victims will be stadiums with decreasing events, until, in some cases (such as Dunedin) no events at all.”

    Which events Calvin. IF (and this is in big 5,000ft lettering in the sky), if Rugby was to decline as you claim in this country, other sports would fill the void. But I am assuming that you are confusing the cyclical fortunes of the NZRFU with ‘other events’ of which no comparison could be drawn. If Rugby declines, the NZSO won’t play in Dunedin? Sorry this is just irrational ranting!

    “Watch the decline accelerate after the 2011 World Cup”

    Yeah, let’s all stare into the exceedingly accurate crystal ball of Mr Oaten, I’d love to know the lotto results this week (I’ve got a box brownie to restore). But of course you have no way to ever make such rash predictions.

    Could this be based on the declining fortunes of the NZRFU and the sport in general after the Lions tour – which was such a disaster wasn’t it – no one went to the games, no one watched on TV, bars with makeshift stands and marquees weren’t placed all around the country – it was an unmitigated disaster! Or in the real world, no it wasn’t and considering that RWC 2011 will be many magnitudes more exciting and popular than the Lions tour, I’d better be careful with said predictions Calvin.

    It isn’t acceptable for the CST and the DCC to make predictions of the feasibility of the stadium based on sound models, methodologies and comparative studies, but it is completely acceptable for Calvin’s apocalyptic visions to be the be all and end all with regard to professional sport in this country. Astounding.

  7. “Even fully occupied by patrons every function they still don’t work. Check out the situation with Manchester United which pre sells every seat for years in advance. The gladiators and their management take the money, the facility providers get the shortfall. It’s quite simple.”

    Earth to Calvin – come in Calvin. I have no idea what you are trying to say, you aren’t even making coherent argument.

    Manchester United owns and operates Old Trafford for the sake of Manchester United football club. Yes it does sell out many many times, but no it doesn’t sell out years in advance, the Premier League doesn’t permit season on season ticket sales.

    Gladiators and Management – that would be the owners of the stadium? Yes that is correct Calvin the owners of the Stadium and the football club should take the profits, or are you suddenly suggesting some form of Socialist rule be applied to private enterprise – somewhat startling. Are you suggesting that the privately owned club return profits back to the city in the form of forced re-appropriation of funds? It would be a real shame for the city to benefit from having one of the most profitable clubs in the world, employing people across thousands of jobs in the city.

    Also DO NOT apply your slide rule of pessimism across entire global Stadia. There are so many different models and modes of ownership and occupation as to render your sweeping statements beyond a joke.

  8. David

    Paul says – “It isn’t acceptable for the CST and the DCC to make predictions of the feasibility of the stadium based on sound models”

    Their predictions using so called “sound models” predicted NPC crowds of 10,000 per game.

    Peer reviews have thought this most unrealistic.

    Current predictions are for just half this – 5,000 per game.

    Doesn’t look like a “sound model” when peer reviews rip your forecast in half.

  9. Be that as it may, they have still made predictions made on basic assumptions and a proven methodology. Calvin has pulled prejudice and misconceptions out of the air, mixed it with a massive dose of unfounded cynicism and come up with the most astounding conclusions – which of course won’t actually happen.

    Still back to the CST’s predictions, they were based on the same conservative assumptions that were used for the preliminary work on Aotea Stadium in Auckland, and they too were wrong. So wrong, that is wrong in the positive way, they weren’t even close in their assumptions as to how many people would turn up and how many gigs would be held at the place – astounding success I think are the words used to describe that development. Given this turn of events, it’s equally valid to conclude that 10,000 events could also be conservative, and/or the quality of other events at the stadium so successful as to blow the Peer Reviews out of the water.

  10. David

    Paul – if you want to take a massive $200m gamble on the unknown – do it with your own money.

  11. David

    Paul – I think you are confused.

    The stadium is not the entertainment product – the rugby is.

    One day every one or two years, the roof will keep the rain off.

    For every other game, there is little advantage of having a new stadium. Perhaps only disadvantages, as the ticket prices will be increased.

    And of course the million dollars per game that the ratepayer throws down the drain.

  12. Sorry did I say stadium, I meant the Vector Arena.

  13. David it is not a $200m gamble on the ‘unknown’, the only thing unknown is why you are forever holding on to the idea that this is a RUGBY ONLY stadium?

    While you are holding on to this stupidity, all other assumptions you are making and factoring into the equation have little relation to reality.

  14. Paul;
    And reality is something you have relations with? I don’t think so.

  15. Calvin,

    seriously, we are meant to take your ‘opinions’ serious, based on what – a hunch, a grudge?

    You show me anywhere the predictions that post RWC2011, rugby will decline in this country, and I will eat my hat, heck I’ll eat the hard hats being donned by the demolition crews at the construction site.

    What you don’t have them? Seriously, I thought you were making some informed comments here.

  16. David

    Paul – using the very predictions that you yourself have just said use “proven methodology” and “sound models”

    – almost all the forecast income is from rugby.
    – around 80% of all users of the stadium are forecast to be rugby spectators.

    So every other type of use combined, from sports, meetings, concerts, conferences – only TOTALS a QUARTER of the rugby use.

    It’s blindingly obvious that it is a rugby stadium, and without rugby, it’s total use would be reduced to just 20% of what is proposed.

    But I don’t expect you to understand that – you don’t even have a maximum average household figure that we should pay for the stadium
    $2600 per house?
    $4000 per house?
    $5000 per house?
    $10,000 per house?

    The stadium could be a financial disaster for the city, but you’d still claim it was an outrageous success.

    Until you understand the financial side of things, and know the costs, then any claim of outrageous success carries no weight.

    Blind optimism is not always positive – it was responsible for the current credit crisis, the housing crash, the 98 Asian crisis, the 87 sharemarket crash, the tech crash, the finance company crash, the current sharemarket crash, etc.

  17. And while you claim it is a Rugby only stadium your arguments carry no weight – fun game eh – having fun yet???

  18. David

    Paul – you rubbish the figures from the very same report that you just said uses “proven methodology” and “sound models”.

    That’s an embarrassing own goal.

    Mind you – it’s not the first time. You did exactly the same thing with the turf report.

    I think there’s a pattern here.

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