Is the stadium worth it, to private hospitality spending during RWC 2011?


Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry said it was widely telegraphed that the stadium would not make money from the Rugby World Cup.

### ODT Online Tue, 18 Jan 2011
Stadium faces $400,000 loss from three pool matches
By Stu Oldham
Dunedin’s new stadium looks likely to lose $400,000 when it hosts three pool matches for the Rugby World Cup.
Read more


Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Economics, Events, People, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums

48 responses to “Is the stadium worth it, to private hospitality spending during RWC 2011?

  1. It is a complete rot that RWC takes all of the money from the beer & food sales. Yes it was clear to me that the stadium wouldn’t be getting rent etc from the idiots in Dublin, but to not get any money from the other stuff is a bloody joke.

    However do not lay this all on Malcolm, the stadium as we all know is for the city for the future, not just one tournament, and EVERY stadium in NZ is in the same boat – the shafted by the IRB boat.

    Personally I do hope this is the last time we host the RWC, it’s just not worth it. The RWC is an absolute cash cow for the IRB.

  2. Phil

    Yeah, the food, beer, programmes, flags, scarves, T shirts etc is an absolute shocker. The ticket sales and television rights we always knew about, although I didn’t know that the stadium was being offered for free. Hell, we’re even playing the games in the middle of the night, just to please the UK interests. Given the declining interest in the sport in its most marquee country, you would think that the IRB might have had interests that went a touch further than their wallet.

    My advice to the stadium operators now is not to sell (or severely limit the sale of, if that is not allowed) beer at the 3 RWC games in Dunedin. You’ll have a better behaved crowd, a more pleasant atmosphere, much less to clean up, no fighting on the way home. A far better advertisement for the stadium. All benefits with none of the costs and no loss of revenue.

    Malcolm didn’t cause this, but the uproar that will follow this announcement could have been avoided if people who had the information had shown enough respect for other people in sharing that information at the time. The same old communication problem yet again from the same people.

  3. UglyBob

    Phil, the beer will probably all be Heiniken so that should curtail consumption. It would be really interesting to learn how much RWC will cost other venues around the country in terms of operating costs, assuming similar venue contracts are in place.

  4. peter

    Phil. There has been other information on the financial risks of the stadium from the peer review reports – not all of which were completed. This information today is not a same old ‘communication problem’, but a deliberate deception which was inevitably going to come out. Basically their attitude now is: ‘Ok, but what are you going to do about it? Too late, suckers. We’ve got our stadium.’
    John Christie, Chamber of Commerce CEO, puts the whole mentality of this sickening business very well. He says the council is right ‘to be welcoming’ to our ‘big spending visitors’ ‘so we can legitimately get as much out of those visiting wallets as we can’. Sounds like fleecing them with a smile. Better than mugging them, I suppose.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    At least nobody can say they didn’t see it coming. Can they? It was ‘Writ’ large right from the get go, but the trusting suckers couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see it. Only those stalwarts behind STS had the gumption to try. Buried under an avalanche of lies, misrepresentations, obfuscations, a dubious council and administration, the CST, all combined to lull the poor ‘lumpen’ citizens into a false sense of ‘it must be all right because our elected people say so’. And they wouldn’t mislead us, would they? Oh the poor sods, and they still don’t know just how bad it will get.

    • Elizabeth

      A question put to me today is one for Dunedin City councillors. Please introduce it into your Annual Plan 2011/2012 debate, for clarification to the public.

      DVML has proposed a “Festival at Otago Stadium” for 23 October (RWC final day).

      DVML’s bid for REAL funding for the proposed event wasn’t successful.

      The REAL New Zealand Festival is a nationwide celebration of all the things we love most about New Zealand, with events and experiences throughout the country. The festival runs from 9 September – 23 October 2011. For more about the biggest festival New Zealand has ever seen go to

      Has the festival at the Otago stadium been canned, or factored into the $400,000 loss? Or is the cost of the event extra to the budget for the fanzone? Or?

      DCC’s application to REAL Festival was also declined – this may have a bearing on the increased fanzone costs.

      HOW ELSE could the stadium festival be funded, without taking more money away from local charities… the well is getting a bit dry.

    • Elizabeth

      ### Tue, 18 Jan 2011 6:42p.m.
      Flash Dunedin stadium comes at a price
      By Dave Goosselink
      Dunedin Stadium bosses are confident the $200 million covered ground will be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup. Visitors from the Scottish Rugby Union checked out the construction site this afternoon but hosting the games will hit local ratepayers hard in the pocket.
      Read more + Video


      While you’re at it…

      @10PARK Looking at Rugby World Cup 2011 New Zealand website – what a tragic design and layout #embarrassing


      WOOPS, my correction…
      @rugbyworldcup @10PARK not ours. the official tournament website can be found at

      @10PARK @rugbyworldcup SORRY how confusing, sue them ;D

      @rugbyworldcup @10PARK no probs. just wanted to make sure you had the right information. big plans for the site for RWC2011

  6. Anonymous

    Most of the RWC cash-grab comments were made over a year ago, some here, some at ODT online.

    Remember that $1M is 1% on the rates, roughly speaking.

  7. Phil

    Good point, UglyBob. The vast majority of Poms, Irish and Scots won’t arrive until after the group matches. The Georgians and Romanians (if any) won’t have any money to spare. So that just leaves the poor old Italians to put a dent in the foreign beer supplies.

    One positive out of this is that we now know it costs just over $100K to run the stadium for a test match. Something we’ve been asking about for a while.

    • Elizabeth

      Another top day at What if? (not midnight yet)… 732 views to 10pm :D

      (later) Total for Tuesday in the 24 hours to midnight – 809 views.

  8. Phil

    There was comment some time ago that profits from the RWC would be shared 50/50 between the NZRFU and the NZ government. After the IRB had taken their cut. And any losses would be met 1/3 by NZRFU and 2/3 by the government. Is it a bit hopeful to suggest that might include venue losses ?

  9. Several things.

    The success and benefits of the stadium were never going to hinge on 3 RWC games. To believe it was is completely nonsensical, and this may shock Calivn a little but I would doubt if any of us supporting the stadium even entertained this as the case. The success and benefits of the stadium to the city will be measured on decades – not 3 weeks.

    However Calvin was right in that this was known about for a very long time. The shock was the beer and food. But then again, rugby is a 90 min game, with people turning up only 1/2hr before game – the majority of eating and drinking around games and the 3 weeks will actually be in the cafes, bars, restaurants and fast food outlets across the city – the VAST majority of spending will be then.

    Another point. Phil the games aren’t being played in the middle of the night. There’s a 7:30pm kick off (normal), a 6:00pm kick off (early) and an 8:00pm kick off (1/2hr later than normal). If you are the kind of person wrapped up with a blanket and a nice cup of tea watching Ms Marple, this may very well be construed as middle of the night. However these are basically normal rugby kick off times. If you want late kick off times, have a look at the Spanish football leagues, kick offs of 9:00pm aren’t uncommon.

    Phil, from talking to those in the accommodation & tourism sectors, your point about arrivals is wrong. I know for a fact that the majority of the Scots will be here the week before their first game of the RWC which is in Invercargill on the 10th (with a 1:00pm kick off – middle of the DAY). They then have a full 4 days in Dunedin before their game here – and a full 11 days between that game and the game in CHCH on the 25th. In the mean time the English play their first games in CHCH on the 10th & 18th before coming to Dunedin on the 24th. The Irish have a huge gap between the 25th game in Rotorua & their 2nd Oct game in Dunedin v Italy. That’s a heck of a lot of tourists who will be wandering all over the lower South Island for a 3-week period in Sept-Oct. They are and will come out for the pool games. They are and will also come to NZ even if they aren’t going to games. I know of many folk who are coming to the South Island in particular who are coming here just to be part of the atmosphere and to finally get to see NZ. For some of those big teams supporters, the idea of staying away till after the pool games is completely nonsensical, as they just might not make it past the pool stages. You obviously haven’t been part of these big events. Thousands of people go just to say they were there, to be part of the atmosphere. There were an estimated 100,000 extra people in South Africa for the football world cup who didn’t attend games – including children and wives of those attending games. But also tens of thousands who just went to be part of the vibe. The sports fans of the UK are infamous for this. There were an estimated 10,000 Brits who travelled to Munich to just be there when Manchester Utd played Bayern Munich in the Quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. That is quite staggering to think of, but quite common in European sports circles.

    These 3 groups of fans English, Scottish & Irish are INFAMOUS for their incredibly deep pockets and willingness to leave the country without a single cent to their names. They are possibly the biggest spending fans (bar the South African & Welsh) in the whole world cup, and they are all eating, drinking, playing and sleeping in Dunedin, Invercargill, CHCH and who knows where in the Otago region before, during and after RWC. Advanced bookings for ski lodges in places like Methven are already astronomical – lets hope for good snow.

    Dave Goosselink. As for that hapless article on TV3 tonight was an exercise of padding out a story. I love the way it was made to look like Dunedin was the only place to experience the free rent problem. It was awful journalism, and of course a nice bit of sensationalism.

  10. Phil

    I did dither a bit about including the Scots in my late arrivals list. Given that they wouldn’t be an absolute certainty to make it past the pool stage. Although the current team looks better than previous.

    I based my comments on a report from the MED and on the percentage of NZ supporters who travelled from NZ to the last cup to watch the play-off phase. A mistake on their part in hindsight. Most of the NZ support during the early pool games were ex-pats living in the UK. I was living in Norway at the time and remember getting bombarded by ticket offers for pool matches by UK ticket sellers online. A company known as Stilrugby (from memory) were the chief culprits, right up to the morning of each match. That may well be the case here, with ex-pat Brits following the team around during the pool phase, and the hard core fans arriving from the UK later. That was noted in the MED report, quoting the expected number of tourists arriving before and after pool play. Domestic numbers are something that need to be factored on top of those figures.

    Of the 85,000 expected visitors into the country (according to the report) during the 6 week RWC period, 46,000 are expected to arrive after the completion of the pool play. Logic would say that those people will be supporting the teams most likely to be featuring in the finals stage, excluding NZ. Likely to be the hard core UK, South African, and French supporters. The number of English supporters expected to have arrived into NZ at the time of their pool match in Dunedin is estimated to be just over 2,500. (plus English ex-pats already living in NZ who will hopefully travel down to Dunedin). That figure doubles a week later when they play the local derby against Scotland in Auckland. So we get them at a bad time. The Scotland match in Dunedin is expected to bring 250 fans down from Scotland, which is 10% of their total expected numbers. Again, they all pour in for their match against England. The big winner for us is the Ireland vs Italy match, who we get right at the end of their pool play and with both those teams having tough “crowd pulling” games prior to travelling to Dunedin.

    While some will have the funding, many of NH visitors will not have the money, nor (more importantly) the free time, to spend 7 weeks away from home in one hit. Not when it falls outside of the normal NH summer holiday period of July/August. So they will make the choice to get the best possible value. As we would if we were travelling that distance.

    I agree fully with you about the fanatical support of English football fans. If only other sports could draw those kinds of numbers. 10,000 hangers on in Munich is a mindblowing effort. Probably helps when a return air ticket is less than 150NZD, but even so.

    I’ve never been a big Miss Marple fan, but I do enjoy watching sport at its best. And there’s a greater chance of that on a Saturday afternoon, not on a damp winter evening. I would suspect that the Spanish league is played later in the day due to the climate. But that’s just a guess. I know that we’ll have a roof (hopefully), so Dunedin will be ok. Not so the rest of the country. It’s more the point that we seem to be giving everything to the IRB, including the best playing conditions for US, and getting little in return. A 9pm start, just so that the IRB can take more money for television rights, means that the best parts of the entire cup will still be being played at 11pm in October. That doesn’t benefit NZ, nor the sport, in my opinion. I did read that Australia has decided not to bid for the RWC rights in the foreseeable future, due to the financial demands being imposed by the IRB.

    I’m surprised that the only media release regarding the lack of direct income from matches has come out of Dunedin. As you rightly say, every single stadium will be running at a loss for the duration of the tournament. So there should be the same concerns. Maybe those other venues had communicated that information better to the people on the street much earlier.

  11. Calvin Oaten

    Paul: Well, what can one say? I can already conjure up a picture of those teeming kilt clad Scots pouring over the hills to Dunedin. A sort of Culloden in reverse. It will be the thought of all the free stadium and booze I suppose. Oh no, I forgot, it’s the IRB who get all that. And why should any of us poor twits expect to be recompensed in any way for the privilege of supplying facilities free gratis? I think it might well be a good time to perhaps visit Australia.

  12. Phil Cole

    Paul / Phil,

    Both of you raise valid points. Although I am anti-stadium (from the point of view that it should have been both privately funded and built, for reasons that are all too clear) I would love to see it be a success (although struggle vainly to do so), so I am trying to approach the stadium issue in a neutral light.

    Being a soccer fan from England (emigrated nearly 9 years ago) I also followed rugby and cricket. So I can offer you an insight as to how a (typical) English person views ‘tours’. With soccer, these tended to be ‘one-off’ games so, as Phil rightly points out, it was very easy to get a cheap flight over in the afternoon (taking own sandwiches with you!), going to the ground, watch the match, and fly back to London straight after the game.

    With the World Cup or European Championships (National soccer) a majority of English fans stay in camp sites and cook for themselves. Only a small number stay in hotels / motels (for obvious reasons).

    If you are trying to gauge how many fans will come to Dunedin and what will their habits be, first of all, disregard any ‘biased’ comments (ie from bodies / organisations that stand to ‘make’ something out of it). What people want to happen and what actually does happen are two completely different things.

    Let’s take the 2003 Lions tour for example – an actual case study that happened. We were told there would be 20,000 (from memory) people from the British Isles coming over, the dollars would be pouring into the local economy, and Dunedin would struggle to cope with the huge influx. We would never have enough hotel / motel rooms to handle the numbers and (correct me if I’m wrong) but there was even talk about people opening up their homes to let some of the fans stay with them. This was to see the Otago vs Lions game, followed by Southland vs Otago 3-4 days later.

    As we all know, the actual number was put at around 2,500, not all of them travelled down to Dunedin and those that did mainly drove and stayed in Camper Vans on camp sites and the railway station (I think I’m right on that one, but not too sure). All the things that were planned for didn’t materialise and I seem to remember a shortage of portaloos? Also, the ‘Leader’ of the ‘Barmy Army’ came to Dunedin a few days early to try and do deals of ‘free beer’ for the travelling fans!

    I do not doubt Paul’s words – I have no reason to – but ‘majority’ of Scots – how much constitutes a majority? Obviously it’s not 2 (in the event of there being 3 Scotsmen!) but no-one really knows, including myself, how many people from the six countries playing in Dunedin are coming. Mid-September is a long way away, as well as the countries they are coming from, in a global recession. I would assume most (world cup) tourists would spend 3-4 days in Dunedin at a maximum, especially as all the teams are only playing one game here.

    I think the planning should be around the capacities of campgrounds in and around Dunedin, making sure that there are enough washing, cooking and leisure facilities, as well as portaloos! Be prepared for a lot of Freedom Camping – even if they are handed leaflets about this when they pick up their vans, they will still do it whenever they can.

    Another thing that can be easily gleaned from the ticket-marketing people – see how many tickets for the Dunedin games have been bought by people actually living in Dunedin. This will give the organisations a rough idea (by no means foolproof) of how many foreign visitors to expect. People from Dunedin are hardly likely to spend any more than they normally would!

    If various organisations are relying on the Rugby World Cup supporters filling their coffers then I would advise them to think long and hard about their planning strategies. Don’t forget, the IRB / Rugby World Cup organisation have been planning this for the last three-four years at least – EVERYTHING in the ground is profit for them and a loss to the stadium (loss in the sense of income going elsewhere that could have gone into the stadium coffers) and their ‘Exclusion Zones’ on areas approaching the stadium where no unauthorised advertising or sellers of produce are allowed is a very careful strategy to maximise their (IRB) profits.

    And as an interesting end note…I tried to book a room at a motel close to Chch airport for Friday 16 Sept 2011 (flying back to England for a holiday). The owner was very polite, asked me what it was for, gave me the normal price and told me to phone him back after 31 Jan and quote the price… he quite happily told me that by the end of January he would know how many ‘rugby fans’ would be staying and they would be paying $100 more than ‘normal rates’. Because he was very polite and upfront, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that British fans (at least) can see when they are being fleeced and that he would have plenty of rooms available for non-rugby people… If this is just one example, I don’t think this will create a ‘good’ impression of New Zealand.

    I won’t even comment (yet!) on the ludicrous amounts of money that may be spent on painting up empty shop fronts / ‘alcohol-free’ fan zones in the Octagon (more likely to be fan-free, as they will all be in the bars drinking beer and watching the games on the TV’s in there!) / free transport for fans (can you really believe that one!)… I’ll save this until the outcome of the Councils deliberations today / tomorrow, as it is all (hopeful) speculation at the moment…

  13. peter

    Paul says, ‘The success and benefits of the stadium to the city will be measured on decades – not 3 weeks’. I don’t think so. Who’s going to wait that long ? The stadium has to perform well from the start given the expectations of those who have falsely raised them. If it is bleeding the city financially at the end of 5-10 years, the stadium should be sold off or demolished.

  14. Anonymous

    They read blogs:

    {See comment by Stu, one of our contributors, on 13/1/11. -Eds}

  15. Phil

    Now that I’ve had a bit more time to digest my novel, I believe that we do, as a region, have a unique opportunity presented to us. I’ve never really been too concerned about marketing for English tourists. They already know enough about NZ, and they will continue to come as tourists anyway. I think that’s a bit of a waste of money preaching to the converted. The Scots are almost in the same boat as the English. I think it would be a mistake to try and become a Scottish city while the Scots are in town. That might backfire and offend them. We’re not a Scottish city, we’re a NZ city. It would be like me going to the Swiss Alps for a holiday and finding all the locals trying to do haka impressions on every street corner. If I wanted to see a haka, I’d stay at home and see the real thing. Not some cheap knock off. And if I wanted to see a really bad haka, I’d just watch the swimming at the Commonwealth Games. If I’m paying 10,000 dollars for my holiday, I want to see something different. Something I can’t get at home. That would make me come back again.

    Where our focus should be, with our limited resources, is on the Irish and Italian markets. Both sides will arrive into Dunedin with their maximum predicted numbers of supporters in tow. It’s their last pool match, and they will both have already played their glamour matches against Australia. So they’ll be on a bit of a high. Their combined estimated travelling supporter number is 6,000. That’s more than double the numbers expected to fly into NZ from England in time for England’s Dunedin match.

    Italian rugby supporters are very astute people. They study the game closely, and view NZ as the Mecca for rugby. They also have money, and they like to spend it. I say that we offer a nice warm welcome to the English and Scots, but that we really hit the Italian market hard whilst they are in town. Not meaning that we try to try and rip the people off who come here, but to promote the region to all their friends back in Italy. It’s likely to be the Italian team’s final match in the tournament, with many fans flying home, or onto Australia afterwards. It’s a largely untapped market for us at present, with big potential. Especially as an “out of season” ski destination.

    The Irish contribution is a bit of an unknown quantity. The current weak state of their economy (yet again) might be a factor. But they will be in their greatest numbers in Dunedin, so we should make the most of them also. The Irish want to see sparsely populated beaches. Their current choices are swimming in the North Atlantic or being crammed onto a strip of sand in Benidorm.

    So that’s where my marketing money would go. Italians and Irish first, English and Scots second.

    Someone has wisely pointed out on another thread that we should not try and pretend to be something we aren’t. Like the Swiss haka contingent. People who are interested enough in NZ to consider coming back or promoting the region, want to see the peace, tranquility, ease of transportation, and freedom of movement, which they can’t get (at a much cheaper price) in Europe. If they want great bars and nightclubs, they can be in Prague in two hours. They can go to Milan if they want to shop. London West End if they want to view red carpets. All for a fraction of the price of a trip to NZ. What they can’t get in any of those locations, is a place to themselves. And that’s what we can show them. We might be worried about not looking like some kind of hick town, but you’d be surprised how attractive that can be to a person who lives in a city with a population density 10 times that of Dunedin.

    • Elizabeth

      The sequel is pretty good, Phil. Not sure DCC Marketing will know what to do with it. I understand nobody can get a lone piper for funerals at Dunedin in October anyway, all booked out by the City Excitement Team.

  16. Phil

    I did a quick check around on those expected visitor numbers. At the recent football world cup in South Africa, it seems that there were a total of 25,000 English fans that arrived into South Africa during the course of the tournament. According to various news articles. The MED has estimated that 13,000 rugby supporters will travel from England to New Zealand during the 6 weeks of the rugby world cup. It’s a little unfair to compare the passion of English football fans with any other sport in England, but I would think that if rugby had 50% of the travelling support that their football team receives, then we’d do pretty well out of them as a nation.

  17. Phil Cole

    (Other) Phil!

    Good points, as always, and very interesting in targeting the Italian supporters – that might be a very good move for the points you mentioned.

    I’m not too sure about the Irish supporters though. I have extended members of family who live in Ireland. Speaking to them on the phone / e-mail etc, the picture we get here of their current financial predicament over the various news sources is nothing compared to the actual conditions. Things are really dire, as they are in England. Originally, about six friends / relatives I know who were going to come over at some point for the World Cup – only if Ireland / England made it to the second stage – are now, with the exception of one of them not going to come, due to job losses, financial constraints and time.

    The point is they were not going to come to the group games anyway because – as they said – ‘why should I travel 11,000 miles to see England play Romania?’ Like the Lions tour (most of the supporters came over just before the first test) they would only start their tour at the Quarter Final stage. They would have visited us in Dunedin after England and Ireland get knocked out (probably at the quarter-final stage!) so would have a few weeks after this to visit ‘all the other places where we won’t get ripped off by inflated prices (their words!)’.

    Now, this is just six people – hardly a representative sample! But the point, I suppose, is that I find the estimated figure of 13,000 rugby supporters travelling from England for the World Cup to be a little on the optimistic side! A lot of the (English) rugby fans for the last World Cup in France / Europe flew over to France for the QF, Semi and final on the day before or day of the game; they watched the other games on Sky!

    Another point to consider: What effect the recent and continuing floods in Australia are going to have on numbers coming over from across the ditch for the Rugby? Perhaps the rugby organisers / tourism bods should concentrate on the resident Kiwi population and encourage them to start visiting towns and cities around New Zealand that they wouldn’t normally visit?

    I really hope the Rugby World Cup here this year is a success. God knows I’ve harped on about how wonderful NZ (especially Dunedin) is, and all the relatives / friends who have been over to visit us all agree.

  18. peter

    Of course all this conjecture about potentially fat walleted visitors is ultimately irrelevant and will do nothing to sustain Dunedin, in the long term, in a financial way. The crowds will go and the empty shops will remain as the cash flows out of the city to somewhere else and we are left struggling to pay off the stadium. Accommodation businesses and restaurants, and their suppliers, plus the sex industry, will get a short term boost, but who else? The feel good factor will quickly evaporate as the tourists disappear over our hills to go back home.

  19. Phil

    My thoughts exactly, Phil. We can offer a realistic and affordable alternative to NZers and ex-pats stationed in other parts of the country. Someone can fly down to Dunedin and guarantee themselves getting a good seat watching England play, with the likelihood of plenty of tries, whereas they probably haven’t a hope in hell of getting a ticket for Eden Park. The domestic market (outside of Otago) is one that I think the promotors of the venue should start now to pursue vigourously, rather than pinning everything on the unknown numbers coming in from overseas. Offer package deals of some sort to sew up bookings now.

  20. UglyBob

    I’m not sure that my interpretation is quite right but here goes. My understanding from media reports is that the Dunedin match sales to the public are currently sitting around 68%; however, public sales only account for about 50% of all match tickets with the others sold through RWC’s hospitality and corporate packages. If the 50% split is correct then around 10,000 seats have been sold to the general public for each of the three Dunedin games at present. RWC would know the percentage of those seats sold to overseas customers; they would also know the travel agents and corporates to whom they are trying to offload the remaining 15,000 seats per game in Dunedin. I would assume rightly or wrongly that most of these latter tickets would be targeted at offshore sales.

  21. Phil

    That probably follows the same format of ticket sales for All Blacks games overseas, UglyBob. A lot of ticket package sets given to travel agents and overseas ticketing agencies early on on a “sale or return” basis. Initially it looks as though tickets have been sold, by virtue of tickets not being available for purchase. But then suddenly a whole pile appear in the last couple of weeks as the agencies return their non purchased tickets. I don’t know if that’s the case here, or if 10,000 tickets have actually been sold. It wouldn’t be totally unrealistic to suggest they have been actual sales.

    Just having a quick look through a couple of UK ticketing sites, I see they are trying to flog tickets for the England match at between $300 and $400 NZD. That’s 3 times the price of a ticket purchased in NZ. The scalping has already begun.

  22. UglyBob

    I’d say the reported sales of 31,000 out of 47,000 seats to the general public are all actual sales as those are made to individuals rather than travel agents – at least that’s what the ODT seemed to infer in its report of 17 December 2010:

    The point at issue as I understand it is that we don’t appear to have been told how sales/allocations have gone with RWC hospitality and travel packages, which on the above figures would seem to make up around 50% of potential ground capacity in Dunedin for 3 games, i.e about 90,000 seats. Those packages seem more likely to be filled by overseas visitors of some form. As you note, it’s possible that a number of tickets allocated to overseas travel agents etc won’t sell and they then become available later in piece to the public. Surely RWC also sets aside tickets for VIPs, media, sponsors and other corporates and their clients etc for each game. Looking at FBS, RWC would effectively take control of all corporate boxes and hospitality areas so you’re talking around 2400 seats (unless new lounge seat purchasers get the right to use their FBS seat at RWC). On top of that, you have seats sold to groups of visitors on package tours etc. MED forecasting is one thing, ticketing information if the fully available would give a better idea on whether an influx was really going to happen. Local accommodation bookings would also tell the story given how difficult it can be to get a hotel or motel room in Dunedin for a major test match.

    • Elizabeth

      A Herald survey of hotels, motels and backpackers in Auckland found that all but six of the 91 that responded are increasing their prices for the cup.

      ### 5:30 AM Monday Jun 20, 2011
      RWC: Hotel price 15 times usual rate
      By Alexandra Mason, Andrea Warmington and Christopher Chang
      Visitors may find themselves forking out up to $1500 for one night in a hotel room during the Rugby World Cup, despite Auckland Tourism’s warning that price-gouging could harm New Zealand’s tourism reputation.

      On average, prices for a standard two-person room on September 24 will be two and a half times the rate last Saturday.

      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Jun 2011
      Ruling out an ambush
      By Debbie Porteous
      About 40 people attended a public meeting in Dunedin last night to hear officials from Rugby New Zealand 2011, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Dunedin City Council explain the rules for Rugby World Cup “clean zones” and “clean transport routes”. Rugby New Zealand 2011 rights-protection manager Carol Harris said businesses in Dunedin would benefit from the Rugby World Cup and the 18,000 people it was expected to bring to Dunedin, but they had to follow the rules.
      Read more

      {Bolding, our emphasis. -Eds}


      ORC won’t get the buses right for every-day city use but it will consider making duck ponds beside the stadium for RWC…

      ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Jun 2011
      Tidy-up promised before Rugby World Cup
      By Rebecca Fox
      Temporary weirs will be placed in the lower Water of Leith in Dunedin to improve the look of the concrete flood channel, described as “appalling”, “godforsaken” and “sterile”, hopefully in time for the Rugby World Cup games in Dunedin. The Otago Regional Council decided this week to spend about $30,000 trialling weirs in the channel to enhance the area visually.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Love the mafia inferences…

        ### ODT Online Sat, 25 Jun 2011
        Red cards at the ready
        By Matt Conway
        Dunedin’s business community was this week briefed on rules governing marketing to Rugby World Cup crowds. For many, it will be a case of playing into the wind, Matt Conway reports. Guerrillas in the midst of the Rugby World Cup can expect to be mercilessly mown down – and we’re not talking about terrorists. Tournament promoters are gunning for anyone who gets offside with tough laws designed to protect the multimillion-dollar investment made by principal sponsors.

        Rugby World Cup – “It’s so controlling. It’s unbelievable from a free-market point of view.”

        Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sun, 16 Oct 2011
      World Cup ‘disaster’ for Taieri train
      By Hamish McNeilly
      The final of the Rugby World Cup will not come soon enough for one of the country’s largest tourism operators, which has labelled the tournament a “disaster” for the Dunedin company. Business was down 19% last month compared with the previous year, the biggest drop on record for the majority owned Dunedin City Council company, and the worst September in five years. That drop translated to 400 fewer fare-paying adults during a month when a 1000-passenger increase was forecast, and “it is a disaster for us”. Mr Bond puts the blame squarely on the tournament, with regular “bread and butter” tourists scared of visiting due to higher prices and the influx of rugby fans.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Register to read D Scene online at

      ### D Scene 30-11-11 (page 3)
      Disparity frustrates publican
      By Wilma McCorkindale
      A Dunedin publican is angry his liquor licence was suspended and bar staff fined for serving an under-aged drinker, while Forsyth Barr Stadium contractors have avoided a similar penalty. Duke of Wellington pub owner Michael McCarrigan has approached the Liquor Licensing Authority (LLA) and police about his concerns.
      {continues} #bookmark

  23. Phil

    Fair comments. It’s all a bit crystal ball gazing. The MED report did say that they took their projected figures in part from the last Lions tour, and in part from the 2003 (?) RWC in Australia. But we won’t know for certain until the wagons roll into town. If I recall correctly, part of the problem leading up to the 2003 cup bid was that we would have to give over all corporate box and season ticket holder seats to the RWC people for the duration. So it’s probably the same this time around.

    As you say though, someone must know exactly how many tickets have physically been bought (as opposed to those which have been allocated to various agencies) and where those people are who have bought the tickets. It would be quite nice to get some idea of the demographics. I can’t see how that information could be deemed to be commercially sensitive.

    • Elizabeth

      In this week’s The Star, community newspaper (page 5), Mr Farry says grass seed will be planted on the stadium pitch in the next couple of weeks; and some events would be held at the stadium from June “to test and commission elements of the project as they are completed”.

      Arise Sir Malcolm. But not yet.
      Knighting is one of those dangerous sports, using a sword – would be a pity to fall on one.

  24. Phil

    I would be surprised if they hold any kind of event on the playing surface itself prior to the RWC matches. They will need to ensure that the brand new grass is locked in tightly enough for the big games. In future years it will be easier, as it’s just allowing for regrowth time. Not growing from scratch. I’m sure that they’ll need to give the sound and lighting systems a good work out. And maybe a drill or two shunting a few hundred school kids in and out of the stands.

  25. UglyBob

    Otago is supposedly playing two ITM rugby matches at the new stadium before RWC.

  26. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth: I notice also in the ‘Star’ article, Malcolm saying that in four months time the United Kingdom company ‘Desco’ will arrive to install the artificial turf Grass-Master system, in which a plastic thread is inserted in the turf, around which the roots of natural grass grow. Now I remember when this was mooted it was to cost some $780,000 or thereabouts. Malcolm said that it could be used or not. Perhaps considered at a later date. Now, does anybody recall this being discussed at an official level, and more importantly was the extra cost approved, and if so from where were the funds to be obtained? So many questions, so many hidden decisions. And yet all we can ‘witter on’ about is ticket allocations. No wonder Malcolm and co. can ride roughshod over the ‘namby pambies’.

  27. UglyBob

    The Desso Grassmaster system was the subject of two DCC media releases late last year on funds obtained from Charitable Trusts.

  28. Calvin Oaten

    Ugly Bob: Thanks for that. I do recall. Another robbing of funds from alternative community needs. The willingness to sacrifice all for the great god of rugby is endless.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin – it goes unanswered (I think) from DCC as to why professional rugby is able to benefit from charities’ funding in competition with non-profit organisations seeking grants. See also various funders’ predictable quests to change status from ‘registered charities’ to ‘incorporated societies’, to keep on giving to favoured ‘professional’ recipients.

      We hope the government continues to impel investigations into the bodies that make funding available to the racing industry and professional sport as well as the entities/authorities that host professional sport and development. Investigations into racing – once RWC 2011 is over – must surely be followed by announcements on the scouring of charitable funds by professional rugby. Hopefully, with the result that funds are freed up and made available to amateur rugby in the community.

  29. Peter

    Will the ODT do a similar story for Dunedin to see if the same thing is happening here? It might be too controversial for them, I sense.

  30. Calvin Oaten

    “Guerrillas in the midst” of the rugby World Cup.
    Surely that is a misprint. I am sure they meant, “Gorillas in the Mist”, myopic neanderthal like personages bullying the public mercilessly. I see the ‘cretins’ in the Town Hall have joined in with a view to repress its citizens as well. The sooner that this nutty RWC comes and goes the better. Perhaps then they will come down out of the mist and survey the economic havoc which has been wrought on this city (indeed the whole country) because of it, and then explain how they are going to extricate us from the financial morass we are in.

  31. Anonymous

    If Eden Park is a “dog” ( what will that make FBS, with its half-finished surroundings and massive temporary stands and seating at both ends?

  32. Phil

    Not quite the full story there. Young Mr Mc is leaving out a few minor details along the way. Namely that this isn’t the first time he has come to the attention of DCC liquor licensing, building control, and environmental health teams over breaches of various Acts and bylaws at his establishment. He has been extremely lucky so far but you can only talk your way out of things so many times. Not a great deal of sympathy.

  33. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Nov 2011
    Bar owner seeks ‘one rule for all’ over licensing breaches
    By Debbie Porteous
    A Dunedin bar owner has criticised the police over what he says is bias and a lack of consistency in punishing licensees for selling alcohol to minors. But police say they are consistent and the outside-the-norm punishment of a Dunedin licensee who broke the law earlier this year was mandated by the Liquor Licensing Authority.
    Read more

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