High-performance training pool at stadium?

### ODT Online Mon, 12 Apr 2010
Call for new pools for city
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council should seek new ways to cash in on swimmers at Moana Pool, as well as building a pool at Mosgiel and a high-performance training pool at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, a consultants’ report has suggested.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Urban design

27 responses to “High-performance training pool at stadium?

  1. Russell Garbutt

    What exactly drove the commissioning of this report? What brief were the consultants given?

    Ignoring the Moana Pool suggestions of cafes and the like, the idea of a high performance swim centre at the new rugby stadium looks like another attempt to get something other than rugby to take up residence there. At present, squad training seems to have no difficulty in training at Moana Pool. The pool no longer meets International Swimming standards and hasn’t for some number of years, but again, that isn’t a hassle at all. Deep water pools that do meet international standards are needed for competition, not training.

    The national swim squad doesn’t need a pool in Dunedin and it would be ludicrous to duplicate facilities in Dunedin that are provided for elsewhere. The current Delhi Commonwealth swim team of 12 has 8 members from North Shore which is the de facto NZ base for high performance swimming in this country, 2 from Wellington, 1 from Christchurch and 1 from Invercargill, so why would Dunedin build a base for high performance swimming here?

    I can’t help but remember one of Malcolm Farry’s more fanciful suggestions for the rugby stadium – that of staging the World Swimming Championships there with a “portable pool”. It was right up there with Royal Tours and Dalai Llama visits.

  2. Phil

    That was a classic, Russell. The “World Swimming Champs” suggestion. It was a beauty, and still makes me chuckle. That was back in the “Trust me, I know what I’m doing” days. Good ole Malc had forgotten the “minor” point that the last time someone tried that (Melbourne, 2007), the event lost more than one million dollars.

    Anything’s possible. Just depends how deep your pockets are.

  3. Russell Garbutt

    The big problem Phil, is that Malcolm Farry and his ilk are still driving Dunedin debt on these sort of fanciful concepts.

    I had forgotten until the ODT article on the forthcoming elections that Malcolm and Richard Walls stood on the same ticket in the “Team Dunedin” elections.

    Not too many differences between these two people I believe – both living in different worlds from the rest of us.

    I’ve been to a number of swimming championships and the recent ones at Moana Pool are populated by the competitors and their coaches with very few other attendees. Even in the great days of Danyon Loader and Duncan Laing there were few people that ever went to see what went on at the pool. To seriously suggest that the World Championships could or would be held in a place like Dunedin shows a degree of delusion that is simply mind boggling.

    But desperate people – like Farry, Walls, Chin and the like will try anything.

  4. Richard

    Russell cannot help but get ‘personal’ – again!

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Richard – the desperate attempts to try and find activities other than professional rugby at the new rugby stadium are factual. Read the reports from the CST. You, whether you like it or not, are identified 100% with Malcolm Farry historically and now. To point out that is hardly “personal”. It is factual.

    Try and address the issues rather than the people. Might even pay to try and answer the questions on what the total bill for the stadium will be and what the total debt will be. Or will you evade that as you have been doing?

  6. Richard

    Sigh! In a mind full of malice, there is no room for reason.

  7. Richard

    For The Record:

    The last report of the CSCT to the DCC Finance and Strategy Committee on Monday 16 March stated on page 5 of 8 (Agenda, page 3.11):

    “The current actual cost position is still tracking within the GMP ($130.4m).

    The overall budget of $165.4m is being maintained.”

    The next report will be before the Committee on Monday 26 April.

    I am not a spokesperson for the CSCT; the Stakeholder Group, or anything else to do with the Stadium Project other than what comes before my Committee.

    {Shortlink: http://bit.ly/avrXA0 -Eds}

  8. kiwifly

    well said Richard that guy Russell Garbutt
    really is a loser and the way that the way he and the other three or four people go on and on and on ad nauseum really is rather boring

  9. To all of those who continue to make light of the suggestion of large indoor events at the stadium, could I point out that this sort of thing is happening around the world’s sporting events, in greater regularity and with fantastic results.

    One great sporting event that recently has been the domain of small indoor stadiums, the NHL (National Hockey League) plays the Winter Classic every year at an Outdoor Stadium.

    The Winter Classic plays a pre-season ‘Original 6’ game at a large outdoor stadium, normally a Baseball Stadium or Football Stadium. The 2010 Winter Classic was played at Boston Red Sox’s home Fenway Park. It was a fantastic night, for a sporting event that was played at a non traditional venue.

    Winter Classic

    Full story here, with great pictures and video.


    A great Flickr pool of images from the Winter Classic 2010.

    Then this year the Frozen Four (US College Ice Hockey Championship competition) finals played at the home of the Detroit Lions Football team, at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan. This too was an extremely popular event, registering a world record crowd for an indoor Ice Hockey match: 37,592 fans.

    Here’s a couple of images from Flickr of the company installing some of the gear for the Ice Rink on the football field.
    Setting Up


    This great pic shows how brilliant the setting was for this event.

    Frozen Four @ Ford Field

    If they want to pitch for the world swimming champs, then all power to them. It’s a huge event and as seen by these two events alone, it can be done, and it can be done well for big events.

  10. Richard


    I discussed with staff yesterday a more (shall we say) “user friendly” means of accessing the Progress Reports on the Stadium through the DCC website.

    As some of you know, Reports are generally directly related to the relevant Agenda Item for any meeting. In this case, Progress Reports on the Stadium come to the Finance and Strategy Committee. They have therefore needed to be accessed on the DCC website through Agendas and Reports, but the occasional one has found its way into a Folder in the Stadium section named (appropriately) “Progress Reports”.

    Staff have obliged my request very quickly and those interested can now easily access Progress Reports on the Stadium simply by pointing your browser to: http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-projects/stadium/relevant-documents-for-the-awatea-street-stadium2.

  11. “The advantages of larger population centres”

    Without a doubt, but tell that to The Green Bay Packers in Green Bay Wisconsin. The city has a population of 100,000 and the Packers stadium capacity of 72,000. EVERY single game has been sold out since 1960!!!!

    Guess there’s something in a successful sporting franchise.

  12. Phil

    Yup, I’ve seen stadia in large population centres be used for different disciplines also. The Globe Arena in Stockholm plays host to the Eurovision Song Contest, ice hockey internationals, and the World Show Jumping Championships. About as diverse as you could get. In the right environment, and with clever event selection, it is possible.

    The fact that Green Bay can fill their stadium consistently for football games with the equivalent of 3/4 of the population of the town shows that they obviously have a good sporting product to market, and that they have a significant extended population base to draw from every week. Wisconsin itself having 5 million people is, I’m sure a great source, with Chicago being the same distance from Green Bay as Ashburton is from Dunedin. Very commutable. We’d kill for resources like that. Even having a marketable football team would be a step in the right direction !

  13. Richard

    Phil: I am certain you mean “rugby”? Football is something else especially now it is non-PC to call it “soccer”!!!!!!!

  14. Phil

    Yes, I do mean rugby, Richard. But, considering recent performances, I’m open to the alternative.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Apr 2010
      Report on pools revamp praised
      By Chris Morris
      A report recommending new investment in Dunedin’s pools will be scrutinised by a working party established by the Dunedin City Council. The report from consultants SGL Group New Zealand Ltd, responding to public submissions to the council, was tabled at yesterday’s community development committee meeting.
      Read more

  15. Phil

    Well, it’s good to see some interest in this activity. Might be a bit of lip service though, as I doubt we can deal with the potential costs involved. Not in the near future. We’ll see if anything concrete comes out of the other end.

    I had to shake my head somewhat when reading Cr Bezett’s quoted comment: “… more investment in the city’s pools was needed, fuelled by the switch from recreational swimming to swim training”. Once again, this reads like placing the perceived needs of an elite minority over the needs of the community in general. And glossing over the bulk of the recommendations in the report. Have some people learnt nothing over the past 2 years about the perils of alienating the population? We’ve already got a considerable burden to cater for the needs of 15 youngsters who currently view the province as some kind of holiday camp. And now we should be prioritising taking on the established North Shore high performance swim group to cater for another elite minority. Hello, what about the rest of us here? Fuelled by a switch from recreation swimming to swim training, my arse. Says who?

  16. Richard

    John Bezett is talking about more than ‘the elite’ Phil. Much more. As the reports attached to the meeting agenda for Community Development testify. Really worth a read.

    The real success of the Sport Otago programme ‘Skills 2 Swim’ run in conjunction with DCC, NZ Water Safety etc that funds 10 professional swimming lessons per year for all nine-to-11 year old Dunedin school pupils is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

    There was a report in ‘The Star’ on 25 March about it and Brent Ward, Dunedin Skills 2 Swim Coordinator and John Brimble, CEO of Sport Otago added to that at yesterday’s meeting of Community Development.


    • Elizabeth

      Confess I learnt to swim (woe, when I dare think of it…) in the Pacific Ocean via cool calm Waikouaiti Beach, and in local rivers. The Waikouaiti Primary pool was a trace boring for testing my high dive off the bike shed roof.

      I now understand I should bill Dunedin City Council for that luxury and freedom (read utter deprivation) so I didn’t drown. Think of the cumulative interest earned by now! #YeGods
      If DCC won’t pay up fair and square, I’m off down to the stadium with steel cutting gear. Hear there’s a good market for it.

  17. Richard

    Of course, in those days Waikouaiti was in Silverpeaks County if not Waikouaiti? No must be Silverpeaks.

    As for me, in the sea off the beach at the southern end of Ingles Bay, Kaikoura. Not with the whales either although I seem to remember …. crayfish (aka lobsters)!

    Before those days, I also recall the the openair pool at Andy Bay was too bloody cold!

    • Elizabeth

      Richard, ’twas Waikouaiti CC… you’re much too kind asserting SCC, my grey hair actually attests to both! By a debt shared (with DCC) is my profit made :)
      In relation to the rivers, this was well before intensive dairying and weeding up by nitrification, the cumulative result of all farming practice in the area. The Cherry Farm flats had been in low scale dairying and cropping historically, of course – “The River”, when my great grandparents owned CF Estate, was a stunning series of safe swimming and fishing places as the diaries show, and continued to be through my childhood years in the 1960-70s, floods aside.

  18. Seems I was more fortunate than either Elizabeth or Richard. I learnt to swim (albeit very poorly) in the high tech Chingford Park Pool in North East Valley. It had a sophisticated system whereby it received “pure” water piped in from the nearby Lindsay Creek, filtered through the many children and their multi fashioned togs and thence back into the creek. No-one, to the best of my knowledge suffered any serious maladies which could be put down to the water. There were of course other effects, of a more sociological leaning.

  19. Russell Garbutt

    All you lot were severely deprived. The Tepid Baths in Moray Place were the only place to learn to swim with Mr David in charge. When waiting to get in you could amuse yourself by carving the entrance bricks with coins, and when you did achieve things in the pool there was the certificate with the various levels of attainment measured by different coloured stickers – I think the last one was 220 yards.

    I’m guessing most of Dunedin learned to swim at that pool and it is interesting to note that a pool in Auckland, and one in Melbourne that I know of are duplicates of that old pool. Down to the changing cubicles.

    • Elizabeth

      I love this Russell. I missed ever knowing that pool. The old pics of hit are very very nice.
      Still remember giving Moana my first go – to be honest though I always hated the chlorine, in any pool. Fresh water is my idea of perfect!
      Friends with home pools up Central and in Waitaki basin went on a real bender with their ‘heating’… via cheap black polythene pipe coils in the sun. #70s tech on no budget.

  20. Richard

    I do not think the carving was in the clay bricks of the Municipal Tepid Baths, maybe in the soft stone. Anyway, if you go down today and have a look at the building which is next door to the site (now the DCC Carpark), you will find a heritage ‘artwork’ complete with ‘pennies’ and the story of how they came to be there. It was put in place some 2/3 years ago with the full support of the building owner.

    You may recall Elizabeth, that this came to the ‘Art In Public Places’ committee as a project and, as I recall it, we sent it ‘off’ to the Heritage or Community Grants Committee. Whatever, it was funded and there it is as a reminder of times gone by.

    • Elizabeth

      Hunted the news item:

      ### ODT Online Sat, 13 Jun 2009
      Old Dunedin tradition preserved by poet and artist
      By Nigel Benson
      A piece of Dunedin history was immortalised in the city centre yesterday. For decades, Dunedin youngsters would line up to swim in the former Dunedin Municipal Tepid Baths, in lower Moray Pl. While waiting in line, it was popular for the children to make holes in the Oamaru stone of the security building next door by turning their pennies in the walls.
      Read more

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