DEBT is worst case World Cup scenario

### ODT Online Sat, 14 May 2011
Farry silent on stadium sponsorship deal
By David Loughrey
Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry says he will not respond to claims made about the trust’s sponsorship agreement. Stadium funding opponent Bev Butler told the recent Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings Forsyth Barr had “paid nothing” towards the head naming rights for the stadium, and suggested the council should ask the company to do so to reduce borrowing costs.
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### ODT Online Sat, 14 May 2011
Worst-case World Cup scenarios
By Elspeth McLean
Stadium collapse, terrorism, a snowfall causing transport mayhem, a norovirus or flu outbreak and large numbers of drunk people are just some of the scenarios considered by emergency planners in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup.
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“the drawcard of Forsyth Barr Stadium for major events – of which it must hoped the Elton John concert is but a forerunner – should not be underestimated”

ODT Editorial: The benefits of competition

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under CST, Economics, People, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums

25 responses to “DEBT is worst case World Cup scenario

  1. Peter

    The first report, ‘Farry silent on sponsorship deal’ was shoved to the bottom of page 4 – with a less prominent heading – all done so the ODT could say they reported this story, knowing full well people will find out in time, and feebly saving themselves the embarrassment of having to admit they didn’t report this information when they knew about it all along.
    ‘Long Live Freedom of the Press! Tear off the shackles of corporate influence and bullying!’
    (Dedicated to Julian Assange.)

    • Elizabeth

      The following comment – in full – was sent to ODT Online:

      Forsyth Barr naming rights
      Submitted by Bev Butler on Sat, 14/05/2011 – 11:11am.
      To own up to the fact that Forsyth Barr have paid nothing towards the head naming rights whilst having the advantage of free advertising both locally and at a national level is not “commercially sensitive” information. Embarrassing maybe, but not commercially sensitive. Isn’t it time Forsyth Barr started putting their money where it is urgently needed and get in behind their stadium now?

      As for the $10m estimate for the naming rights – half of that would be a far closer estimate based on similar stadium naming rights elsewhere.

      Bev Butler


      This is how it appears after ‘shortening’ care of the editor at ODT Online:

      Forsyth Barr naming rights
      Submitted by Bev Butler on Sat, 14/05/2011 – 11:12am.
      This is not “commercially sensitive” information. Embarrassing maybe, but not commercially sensitive.
      As for the $10m estimate for the naming rights – half of that would be a far closer estimate based on similar stadium naming rights elsewhere.
      Bev Butler

  2. Peter

    It’s interesting when you look at what has been edited out. There is nothing that could be considered offensive or libelous. The abridging is actually very useful for assessing the ODT’s sensitivities and where it wants to provide its protective shield. The editing isn’t necessarily done on the initiative of the online editor. He will be fully aware of the ‘no go’ areas for top management and owners of the ODT. I suspect he’d have to refer ‘sensitive’ comments further up the chain. Either that or there is the unhealthy culture there to instinctively know when to censor.
    Forget Iraq and their ‘coalition of the willing’. We have our own coalition right here in Dunedin. This is the proof – to be filed.

  3. Phil

    Just send it to the Herald, Bev. I’m pretty sure that no one there owned any stadium properties.

  4. Bev Butler

    Interestingly, my sources claim that it was Eion Edgar who spoke with Murray McCully, RWC Minister, to help secure the Central government funding of $15m (announced early 2009) when the stadium project was about to collapse due to lack of interest by the private sector. I would have expected that the private funding, including the Forsyth Barr Head Naming rights, would have started to appear long ago. After all, the private funding was for the construction of the stadium.

  5. Anonymous

    Good to know that we have a free press in that a journalist can write any story; not so good to know that their editors/owners will not necessarily print the same stories…

  6. James

    I’m not so sure it isn’t “commercially sensitive”. Certainly, while there are some rumoured figures around some of these, the exact deals that Vector*, AMI, Westpac et al have cut for various other stadia and arenas also appear to be secret.

    *The Vector case is particularly interesting, because there was some suggestion that following various problems around opening, that the arena may have become liable to compensate Vector for damage done to Vector’s image by association.

  7. wirehunt

    Odds on Farry and Smith’s are in the same club…..

  8. Bev Butler

    Hi James
    “the exact deals that Vector*, AMI, Westpac et al have cut for various other stadia and arenas also appear to be secret.”
    Not too secret……Farry, bless his heart, knows about some of these deals….me too.

  9. Phil

    Frankly, I don’t give a shit what the commercial naming rights deals (or any other deals) were/are in other cities. Same as the smoke and mirrors attempt to justify the stadium subsidy for the Elton John concert. Could well be standard practice in Wellington. I neither know nor care. The day I become jointly responsible for the public debt in Wellington, is the day I’ll care how they spend their money. What Wellington (or any other city) does or doesn’t do has absolutely no influence over the amount of debt being incurred in Dunedin. And that’s the only debt that concerns me. Anything happening outside of Dunedin with regard to this topic is purely a smokescreen to try and deflect attention. Since when did it become acceptable to justify a poor decision by benchmarking against other poor decisions ? Compare it to as many other buckets as you like, the bucket still has a hole in it.

  10. Bev Butler

    The Carisbrook Stadium Trust assumed they would achieve head naming rights revenue of $3 to $4 million for a fifteen year period (Source: CST). Farry was not able to achieve this – remember it was reported in the ODT that Farry couldn’t get as much as they had hoped and Eion had to pay more than he wanted. It’s odd that the ODT are reporting an estimate of $10 million.

  11. Phil

    Maybe it’s the same as the counting seats twice game. A 15 year contract with an option to extend for another 15 ? Doesn’t quite get to $10 million, but it gets closer. And maybe there are also smaller naming rights contracts that are included in that figure. Again, with extension options incorrectly factored in. Like the “Farry and Co West Stand Portable Toilets” ? For example.

  12. Bev Butler

    It is reported in the news item that the contract was signed for 10 years. So $3 million for 15 years equates to $2 million for 10 years. But, hey, two can sound like ten, can’t it?

  13. Anonymous

    @Phil, the numbers from other centres for similar naming rights are good guidelines for the upper limit of FBS rights. The $500K p.a. for Vector Arena would seem about the top end, with $2-3 million for 10 years more realistic. The FBS deal would probably be limited both by time (15 years is a long stretch) so it is probably 5-10 years term and funding level ($200K p.a. let’s say). Plus Dunedin Venues will have to provide the signage at their own cost.

    What would be more interesting to discover would be the termination clauses. If, as claimed, FB have not paid anything to date, they have been getting the publicity of association already for free. If someone has been careless with the early termination clauses, then they get a year or so down the track, we revert back to “Otago Stadium” and the money evaporates.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Doesn’t this whole saga remind us all about the complete lack of any form of transparency? Generally, as a rule of thumb, it is fair to say that when public money is used to pay for something, then there should be little or no secrecy. Also fair to say that when secrecy is requested, it is because someone wants to hide something that could cause them a lot of embarrassment.

    This whole shambles has been conducted for the most part in almost total secrecy – and yes, when little snippets come out people are embarrassed. I have no doubts whatsoever that the “good old boys” are hard at work behind the scenes trying their very best to keep the lid on things, but I have equally no doubt that sooner or later the real story behind the stadium and all the hidden deals will emerge. However, I don’t think that it will be under this current governance personnel.

  15. Bev Butler

    Russell, the drive to finally unearth the scandals behind the stadium is there in the community because people don’t like to be told lies and made fools of. The unending questions will be asked by many until they get proper answers – as is their right under law. Now that the stadium is almost complete the focus has changed from trying to stop it to now demanding accountability for questionable actions taken by stadium promoters to achieve their goal. It doesn’t matter whether this will take a further one year or two. Anger mixed with determination at what has happened are powerful forces to finally achieve justice. This will become increasingly easier as the stadium edifice slowly crumbles into a quagmire of debt and affects more and more people – including those who, for a long time, have felt the stadium was a good thing for Dunedin.

    • Elizabeth

      A letter to the ODT editor from MP Clare Curran was published today in print and digital editions. She picks up on a newspaper article about Dunedin’s capacity to cater for RWC fans, foodwise, and notes that of the 37 food outlets in the immediate South Dunedin area, many “sell the sort of plain and hearty fare” perfect for RWC fans. Clare goes on to mention the “Tackle Hunger Programme”, a collaboration between the International Rugby Board (IRB) and the United Nations which draws “attention to the plight of the world’s hungry and connecting the global rugby community with the programme”, describing it as “worthy indeed”. She signs off with: “Bring on the games.”
      How many Dunedin people, including those in her constituency, struggle to put adequately nutritious food on their tables… and in future years, as the effects of the stadium build and its operation impact hard on the city which ‘has no ability to pay’ (FORGET selling off our water, DCC) for instructure upgrades or anything so sensible.
      I’m probably being a touch sensitive, maybe Clare has it all worked out.

  16. Russell Garbutt

    You are not being a touch sensitive at all Elizabeth. The Labour Party lot from Dunedin have been noisily silent on the idiocy of the stadium project. Seems like it is beneath them. Clare Curran is about as connected as a turkey is to Christmas.

  17. Bev Butler

    {This comment was posted by Peter, not Bev. – Eds}

    The IRB interested in feeding the world’s hungry? Now that makes me choke. It smacks of Madonna getting herself a black baby in Malawi. All show. No substance. There are other more worthy relief organisations getting on with the job.
    I agree with your comment, Russell, on Labour’s position with the stadium. Their position on the stadium was reprehensible for a social democratic party. They supported the rort that has taken place and firmly shut up those within the party who did not support this position. Now they are gung ho about the America’s Cup – $36m – and all what it represents. Labour is just light blue to National’s dark blue.

  18. Peter

    Note: Elizabeth. The above comment was mine. Not Bev’s.

    {Can’t correct that due to the email identity as logged, except by editorial note. -Eds}

  19. Calvin Oaten

    [Peter] it is called ‘Populism’, or in other words looking forward as far as the next election.

  20. Peter

    Yes, true Calvin. I noticed recently, on TV, a UN function, which the UN chief and Helen Clark attended, promoting the RWC coming to NZ. Helen was in the background, as cheerleader, and I was astonished by the way she clapped her boss after he finished his speech. She looked like – to borrow Prince Charles’ witty comment – a Chinese politburo wax work figure, where you see them all clapping, in unison, with their hands clapping, in a measured way, and raised as they did so. What the UN is doing wasting time promoting the RWC when there are more important global issues at stake, I don’t know. As you say, populism – of the more manipulative kind.

  21. Anonymous

    Hamilton is worried about a $1.86 million cost for hosting their 3 World Cup games.

    $1.86 million – that’s slightly more than one piss in the bucket. You could almost buy a nice wee kitchen for that.

  22. Russell Garbutt

    To paraphrase Fred Dagg, they don’t know how lucky they are.

    It would be interesting to find out just why the IRB and the RWC hold such sway over the pollies. Dear Old Helen and the rest of the politburo all went for it boots and all and it is baffling when you look at their deep seated beliefs just why they would support a game which has its roots in upper class English society.

    However, the genesis of an answer may be found in looking at the hold that really big sport holds over whole countries. Anyone looked at the Athens’ Olympic venues lately?

    But coming back to the piss in the bucket – all this proves is the ability of the local tartan/cedar/chinese/OBN/mafia to control what really goes on in this town and the lack of such groupings in Hamilton.

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