Rugby scours

The team debuted its new green colours in the match, replacing its traditional blue, gold and maroon jersey in a controversial move to symbolise the launch of a brave new era.

### ODT Online Sat, 4 Jun 2011
Rugby: Green-landers say goodbye to ‘Brook, and playoffs
By Nigel Benson
Highlanders rugby fans experienced the more nauseating aspect of the colour green at Carisbrook last night. In the final Super rugby fixture at the venerable old ‘Brook the Highlanders choked, leaving their fans feeling sick to the stomach.
Read more

Highlanders find it’s not easy being green

Posted by Ellizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, Heritage, People, Politics, Sport, Stadiums

82 responses to “Rugby scours

  1. If I was wearing something that ugly I’d choke too!

    Good support from the Highlanders team management, new paddock and they shit on us by not even supporting the provincial colours.

    Thanks Highlanders, we love you too.

  2. Peter

    On the Friday night game between The Highlanders and The Force, Marc Hinton of the Sunday Star Times [5/6/11], in the sports section, page B4, had this to say: ‘That only 6400 fans turned up – a good swag of them thanks to ‘a’ local businessm’e’n (sic) who funded half price tickets – was a glaring testament that this is a franchise with its share of problems.’

    A contact has subsequently claimed that he was speaking to ‘a man of the church’ who claimed the swag was 5000 tickets. Not sure where he got his information from, but a swag of 5000 certainly counts as a swag. Talk about DESPERATE.

    Jamie Joseph states in the same article that only five of the boys are Otago boys, none from Dunedin. This will explain why they don’t give a rat’s arse what colour jersey they are wearing – and even like it. All those naysayers not getting behind the boys. Who could have seen that coming?

    All of this was not reported by the ODT. Once again, it takes a journalist from outside the province to give us real news instead of some crap controversy over a footy jersey.

    • Elizabeth

      Once we receive the Sunday Star Times link it will be posted here.

      Another of Marc Hinton’s opinion pieces on Dunedin apathy towards the Highlanders was published two years earlier:

      ### Last updated 14:01 03/03/2009
      Hapless Highlanders need more bravehearts
      By Marc Hinton
      What is going on in Dunedin? More to the point, do the good folk of the southern outpost realise that if they continue to shun the Highlanders, the day is fast approaching when they won’t have a team left in town to snub? …For a good while there has been speculation that the Highlanders and Dunedin are an increasingly uncomfortable fit. But tradition, and geography, dictates that the southern half of the South Island deserves a Super 14 franchise, and thus far any thoughts of change have been resisted. But the sight of just 5000 paying customers at last weekend’s season opener against the Brumbies at Carisbrook must have had the alarm bells ringing. How can you run a professional rugby side on crowds that pathetic? Does a city that engenders such apathy even deserve a team?
      Read more

  3. Phil

    Ah, Marc. A good Kings High School lad. He should know the local market.

    I’m all for supporting local sporting teams, don’t get me wrong. But, those days of automatic loyalty are gone. The Highlanders portray themselves as a business. They trumpet it at every chance. As such, they should be treated as a business. People don’t support a business that doesn’t deliver a product that you want. And nor should they. Support is earned, it is not a right. If I am going to put my money up, then I want something of equal value in return. Think about why there are only 5,000 people attending a match. Where on earth does the conclusion come from that this is the fault of the consumer, and not the fault of the supplier ?

    Sport benefits from discretionary income. People have a lot of choices these days as to where to spend that income. Don’t blame them if they choose to spend it on a product that delivers. Make the local sporting team more attractive than the alternatives, and the benefits will come. Supply a sub standard product and deserve all that you get.

  4. Peter

    Maybe, no matter how they try to front up with a better ‘product’ for the consumers, there is just nil interest with all the other choices available for entertainment these days. Once, in NZ we could only get instant – or for a treat, cona coffee – now the options are wider. Same with sport. The heyday of rugby is gone for ever, no matter what they try to do to win back support.
    Rugby, it seems, increasingly has a more minor share of our entertainment dollar. Like going to the opera – another minority interest – that cries out for support.

  5. Calvin Oaten

    Only 5,000 odd? Yes, and lucky it’s that many. Why? As Phil says, provide the product which captures the imagination and success will be assured. Rape and pillage to the tune of over $200 million from your public to produce the product, then expect to sell it back to them is a big ask. Have a look (if you dare) at the Sunday ‘Prime’ rugby roundup and you will see that every other NZ venue seems to suffer from the same scarcity of patrons. Tell the NZRFU something? Apparently not.

    • Elizabeth


      (7 June, 3:02pm) @MutchJessica – Clare Curran kicked out of debating chamber for wearing Highlanders jersey.

      [ Jessica Mutch, Political Reporter for TVNZ ]

      ODT 7.6.11 Curran kicked out of Parliament over Highlanders jersey

      • Elizabeth

        This from a good friend’s brother…

        ### ODT Online Thu, 9 Jun 2011
        Opinion: Colours true to region’s heritage
        It’s been 15 years since I walked the turf of Carisbrook and I have managed in that time to keep silent on Highlanders rugby, but that jersey was the last straw. I suppose I know the brand better than most, since I created it with some very capable southern folk. I was sad and somewhat incredulous on Friday night, not because the Highlanders lost – the Force deserved their win – but because the launch of the new jersey was an insult to Carisbrook. So much history, so many memories, and yet the focus of the last Highlanders game at Carisbrook was on a new strip.
        Read more

        -John Cossens was the Highlanders’ marketing manager in 1995-96.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 9 Jun 2011
          Opinion: Business case or basket case
          The rugby fraternity in Otago and Southland is seeing little green men appearing before its eyes, and it is understandably outraged at this alien invasion. However, this is only the latest indignity it has had heaped upon it by its governing bodies in the past few years. As goodwill towards professional rugby has declined in New Zealand, so has the amount of money that the code and its various brands can generate, despite increasingly desperate attempts to “milk the cow”.
          Read more

          -Dr Robert Hamlin is a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Otago.

  6. Peter

    Aren’t we facing an election in six months time? Where major issues, to decide the future of the country, have to be debated? Why is Clare Curran picking up on some conceived populist bandwagon like this? No wonder the Labour Party is in such dire straits with this display of foolishness. I actually feel insulted by this kind of opportunism.
    If she faces a backlash, she only has herself to blame.

  7. Russell Garbutt

    What angers me about Clare Curran is that she is supposed to be representing Dunedin South – many of whom will be ill-equipped to come up with the rate increases forced upon them by a Council driven by a small sector interest. She has not, to my knowledge, made any stand on this dumb decision to build a stadium that will place many of her constituents further in poverty – instead she makes a stand on the colour of the shirt that is causing such poverty. She is, without putting too fine a point on it, an opportunist grandstanding fool.

  8. kate

    I think Dunedin South should be renamed West Dunedin – it covers the most north, the most west, and the most south aspects of Dunedin, one is already taken, and it certainly isnt just south.

  9. I see not much new in that article until the end few paragraphs, different twist.

    Rugby has been dying here for a long time now. Fanatical supporters stopped being that years ago. Saturation kick in. So we spend how much to build the toast rack for a dying sport. And not just here in Dunners, national wide.

  10. Russell Garbutt

    Dr Rob Hamlin’s article is well reasoned and timely – especially after the very good article about the business model of the NZRU in the Sunday Star-Times of last weekend.

    There is no doubt that this whole country has been suckered in to the whole myth of the RWC. It started with a few people seeing the main chance to make a lot of money aided and abetted by some pretty gullible politicians. Like most “sporting” events there are plenty of opportunities for a few people to benefit at the expense of those least able to afford it.

    We don’t have to look too far to identify the beneficiaries here in Dunedin and thankfully it is looking like that their preferred anonymity is well underway to being exposed.

  11. Peter

    Wirehunt. You say, ‘Rugby has been dying here for a long time now.’ What do you suggest to put the game out of its misery?

  12. Just leave the NZRU and their buddies to it. It won’t be that long now. 9 or is it 10 months of rugby a year, that should over do it.

  13. Phil

    I think that New Zealand is a pretty good indicator of the true support for the sport globally. I say that because of the high number of stadia we have compared to our population. So the increasing or decreasing level of interest is quite easy to identify through match attendances. In more densly populated countries, it’s harder. Filling a 20,000 seat rugby stadium in London would be the population equivalent of 200 people turning up at Carisbrook. So they will always have full grounds. But you don’t know what the interest is beyond those 20,000.

    TV plays a part in the attendance issue, but Sky Sports has been around in NZ since 1990, so that doesn’t account for continually falling ground attendances.

    Australia has the same visible decline in interest. Again, there’s been no physical change to bring about the decline. League, AFL, football, and live broadcasting has been around for ever. It’s not competition, it’s the natural waning of an out of date product.

    Personally, I started losing interest when the players started to dye their hair like skunks, and thought that modelling underwear was the best way to get money out of me.

    And I completely lost interest when an average former cricketer decided that he knew more about the sport and the building of stadia than anyone else in the country.

    It’s only “Kelly Bundy” at the FBS website that keeps me amused.

  14. Peter

    Phil. The dyeing of hair and wearing of undies is the ‘metrosexualising’ of rugby. In that regard, rugby has ‘moved forward’ in terms of widening its appeal. Move with the times, you old dinosaur!

  15. Calvin Oaten

    Peter; just because Phil doesn’t wear undies is no reason to rubbish the dyeing of hair. Unless of course you have none.

  16. Peter

    Calvin. I’m looking forward to Phil’s comeback on that one!
    In the interests of balance, I note Jamie McIntosh, the present Highlanders captain, looks more old school. Rugged hairdo and beard – minus designer stubble – he looks like the kinda guy who’d keep playing, even if the sprigs of another player’s boots had ripped open his scrotum.

  17. Phil

    Fair cop, Calvin. It’s amazing how far one can stretch between laundry days. The only positive aspect about some new “bolter” who sprints out onto the field with a raccoon taped to his skull is that you know straight away that it’s all going to end in tears and that you can thankfully spend your time elsewhere. If you look at true top line athletes around the world, they spend a bit more time perfecting their skills and a bit less time trying to look their best for the cover of Womens Day. It’s the whole Show Pony presentation that is turning more and more people away from rugby in NZ.

  18. Calvin Oaten

    Well Phil, I am not sure you are right. Dan Carter balancing himself on the top of a Hi Wall Heat Pump indoor unit is no mean feat. It would get me to a rugby match in a flash if I knew it was not just his ‘Jockeys’ that made it possible.

  19. That’s good. I’m pleased to see the RWC NZ crapping on us get again. But then I’d only support them getting the tickets if they went to ratepayers…..the ones paying for the stadium so Snedden and his cronies have somewhere to play.

    Please note the sarcasm hopefully dripping from this statement.

  20. Peter

    Just watched TV One news and there was an upbeat report on the stadium after the Open Day today where 11,000 attended. Understandable as they don’t-yet-know the full story. Farry pointed out the big smile on his face. Very smug, I must say. One old lady, who was interviewed, did wonder how we were going to pay for it all. Quite. Out of yours, and my rates, and other peoples’ rates, sweetheart.
    90 days till the big opening of the RWC. I kinda think the smile will be wiped off Farry’s face once the party is over, the bills still come in, the stadium is left largely empty of ‘end-on-end’ events, and rates and council charges rise to help pay for it all. And, of course, pesky people continuing to ask difficult questions – for accountability sake.
    Enjoy it, Mr Farry, while it lasts.

  21. Anonymous

    Crusaders want Carisbrook for Super 15 finals. Now they have made the playoffs for sure, they need somewhere to play. Imagine if they could open FBS with a Super 15 final. Imagine what it would look like with a successful team playing there. Honestly, if you can’t see the writing on the wall, you must be blind. Judging from the ODT comments online, a few people have recently acquired reading glasses…

    • Elizabeth

      ### 8:17PM Saturday June 11, 2011
      Sneak peek at Dunedin’s new stadium
      Source: ONE News
      Dunedin residents got their first chance to see inside New Zealand’s first covered rugby stadium. More than 11,000 people turned out to visit the stadium, which is only seven weeks away from completion.
      Read more + Video

  22. Phil

    I love the “on time and on budget” statement of fact. That tends to happen when you remove everything that pushes the cost over the budget, outside of the budget. Can’t lose if you’re the person making up the rules.

    Peter, do you think that Malcolm is going to give a shit if the stadium is financially successful or not ? I very much doubt it. His job was to build it, and he’s made sure that he isn’t going to get caught out in that role. If (when) it doesn’t turn a profit, that’s the operator’s fault. Not Malcolm’s. He’s made sure that he’ll come out of it squeeky clean by distancing himself from the issue of repaying any debt. No one will be wiping that smirk (oops, I mean smile) off his face.

  23. Kiwifly

    yawn@you lot on here, The Stadium is looking fantastic.Get over yourselves, you lot have become the laughing stocks around Dunedin.

  24. Calvin Oaten

    Many moons ago in a discussion on the stadium on Radio Rhema between Lee Vandervis, Malcolm and I, Malcolm stated categorically that he was commissioned to bring forward and expedite a proposal as to how Carisbrook might be saved. He explained how he, and others, came to the new stand-alone stadium proposal. This was supported by council and he with the CST was charged with bringing it to fruition. End of story. If the people didn’t support the concept and pony up to it then so be it. He would have done his job. TEFLON!

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 17 Jun 2011
      ORFU negotiating moving offices to stadium
      By David Loughrey
      The Otago Rugby Football Union has begun negotiations to move its offices to the Forsyth Barr Stadium, as the Dunedin City Council prepares to sell Carisbrook. ORFU chief executive Richard Reid yesterday confirmed the union’s intention was to move to the stadium.
      Read more

  25. Peter

    Phil. I have no doubt Farry will distance himself from the ensuing mess as you say. However, for people in Dunedin, and outsiders looking in for comment, he is ‘Mr Stadium’. Any fallout will drag him down too – despite his best efforts. I would also envisage a blame game by those who are left in the invidious position of paying off debt with all the stresses that will cause for them and the city.
    When you are in a bind, you find a scapegoat.

  26. Russell Garbutt

    The difficulty with ego is that you start to believe in a lot of things that a wise man would not believe in.

  27. Peter

    Quite right, Russell. Super sized ego has proven to be the downfall of many people-great and small.

  28. Peter

    Calvin. Even teflon loses its coating eventually – and something sticks!

  29. Anonymous

    Maybe Dunedin Casino should have been approached:
    Wonder how this will affect the conference cashflow projections…

    • Elizabeth

      Looking at the plastic fantastic stadium building and the university ‘wing’ today from State Highway 88 – the first looks cheap and ugly, the claddings (especially the ‘clear plastic’ wall covering) do the relatively monolithic shed forms no favours whatsover; the second looks cell-like, clutsy and ill-proportioned, which is not surprising when Warren and Mahoney are driving the ‘design’.

      In terms of urban design, the complex as a whole as well as in its component parts has no winning form or credits. The building projects might be – and are – expensive (local economy) but their detailing and articulation are at most loss-worthy and forgettable.

    • Elizabeth

      Further to Anonymous’ comment on the proposed Auckland convention centre:

      (13 June, 7.59pm) @3Politics Convention Centre deal is ‘corporate blackmail’\


      13.6.11 ODT Online: Key defends SkyCity deal

      Prime Minister John Key is defending a deal with SkyCity in which the company will foot the $350 million bill for a new international convention centre in exchange for the Government considering gambling laws changes.

  30. Russell Garbutt

    It just shows that small fish can’t eat big fish. What underlines this is that the projections for the new rugby stadium here revealed an 80% utilisation rate – that is 80% of the first year of operation would see something booked into the stadium. Like most projects of this type, the income projections and benefits are fanciful, the cost estimates are understated and the main beneficiaries are those that promoted it. What a surprise.

  31. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; can we take that as a thumbs down? What about the wonders that the stadium will bring to Dunedin? It will after all, be the envy of all other cities. People have actually said that. Malcolm Farry denigrates all we unbelievers, so what do you say to that?

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin: My thumb has been in locked-down position since the first concept drawings emerged; and most definitely down for the revised design. Farry is not anyone I would look to for design advice or expertise in assessing a rugby/conference venue (the stadium) for future market share. He’s a dentist. A dentist with short-sighted friends.

      I say those wise Dunedin people who won’t be scammed by a dentist-with-benefits should stick to their guns and their logical takes on the whole stadium debacle.

      Wrong project. Wrong funding formula (if not criminal). Wrong time and place.

  32. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth; Wrong wrong wrong! Right!
    The $350m Auckland Conference Centre/Casino with government approval will make our $60m effort look decidedly dodgy. How many conferences can this country expect? Weird.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin – clarified my earlier comment for you, “rugby/conference venue (the stadium)”. The stadium building is worth more than $60m.

  33. It’s less about how many conferences can the country expect, but whether the conferences live up to expectation. Most conferences seem to halve in size when they leave the northern hemisphere. It’s not that New Zealand isn’t attractive, but rather that northern hemisphere delegates don’t have long-haul appropriate budgets (or the time).

  34. Phil

    There was something posted on this forum a while back, which broke down the demographics of conference attendees in NZ. I don’t recall the exact details but it showed something along the lines that only around one quarter of people attending conferences in NZ came from outside of the region holding the conference. So the economic benefit to the region, apart from for the in-house lunch catering contractor, was relatively minor for a typical size conference. The bulk of conference delegates did not eat out at the bars and restaurants, didn’t visit the penguins, and didn’t book hotel rooms.

  35. Calvin Oaten

    Sorry Elizabeth, I should have been more specific. I meant the Town Hall/Dunedin Centre conference venue. The stadium as a conference venue is just ‘crap’, right up there with the Popes visits.
    Anyway, your claim the stadium is ‘WORTH’ more than $60m is a moot point.

    • Elizabeth

      [This comment is off-thread, apologies.]
      The Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment Project includes building changes for enhanced mixed use and conferencing, as it has catered to for years – although increasingly poorly from catering, spatial flow, internal climate, sound isolation, and technology angles (the list goes on). It’s time for maintenance, conservation and refurbishment (read belated). This is a great project for the city centre, and must be seen in the context of the complimentary Regent Theatre redevelopment and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery facilities.

  36. Russell Garbutt

    So, in the interests of transparency, can we all learn what income we (we, the ratepayers that is) will derive from this negotiation. Bearing in mind the cosy relationship that exists between the ORFU and their money supply (the DCC), I and I’m sure most ratepayers will want to ensure that we all know exactly what is going on.

  37. Peter

    ‘The ORFU’s deadline for moving from Carisbrook was August 6, though the exact date would be “a little bit loose”, as the Rugby World Cup was coming up, and the ground would be used for training purposes while it was on.’

    That sounds odd. The offices are not ‘on the ground’ itself. Surely it’s just a matter of getting office furniture, computers, filing cabinets, booze fridges, etc moved there – especially because the stadium is supposed to be finished ‘on time’ according to Farry.

    • Elizabeth

      Russell, the only way to know is to storm the DCC bastion. The time is getting close if the security guards are only “spindly”.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 19 Jul 2011
      Editorial: Dunedin as rugby city
      There’s more than a whiff of desperation in the air. The New Zealand Rugby Union is finding Friday’s test between the All Blacks and Fiji at Carisbrook a hard sell and is doing what it can to encourage support for the match. Unfortunately, given the expected mediocre turnout, Dunedin and the South’s reputation for backing test rugby may suffer. Quickly forgotten by the national powers that be will be last year’s Carisbrook goodbye when the Welsh test sold out in little time. The ground was also full for the test before that, against France. The problem this time around is with the circumstances.
      Read more

  38. Amanda kennedy

    I thought this was a sports article and then realised it is actually the editorial. This pretty much says it all. Here the ODT editor actually tells us that he believes Dunedin is ‘rugby city’. No kidding.

  39. Peter

    What was actually the point of the editorial? To stir up the masses to get behind the game? If so, what a pathetic attempt. Doesn’t the ODT think of anything else, but rugby. I notice on Channel 9 in the ‘What’s in the ODT tomorrow?’ there is often – you name it – a rugby story…. often of little consequence. This is just so embarrassing as it puts the ODT in the category of being very much a provincial paper than a major national daily.

  40. Amanda kennedy

    The worrying thing of course is that we can expect no questioning of the stadium debt and the opportunity costs it creates by our main media. This seems to be saying the ODT will cover its ears to any naughty negativity surrounding the noble game of professional rugby, and so the stadium is sacrosanct. How sad and peculiar.

  41. Calvin Oaten

    Today I was down at the University Union having a coffee at my favorite stall, “Lex’s Espresso”. The fact that he is my son and the coffee is free is purely coincidental. My point however was the large posters on the notice pillars in the Quadrangle: “Students on the Terraces for just $50!” My god! $50 to watch Fiji? Are they mad? And what do the main stand seats cost?

    • Elizabeth

      Tweet (Wed 20 Jul 20:43 via twitterfeed)

      @DunedinNews ODT: Video: All Blacks sample Dunedin’s new stadium: [video]

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 21 Jul 2011
        All Blacks ‘couldn’t help but be impressed’ with stadium
        By Steve Hepburn
        The turf at Forsyth Barr Stadium had its first work-out yesterday, and it was the cream of the crop who had the first go. The All Blacks wandered on to the turf yesterday afternoon, with the new stadium fresh from the posts being put up and the lines marked out this week.
        Read more

  42. Peter

    Did you notice they don’t say how the turf actually stood up. Only that it was checked by guys in orange jackets. Did it or did it not? Was the turf relatively unscathed with just one team practising on it? Do we just presume that the turf passed the small test run given it? You’d hope so.
    If it didn’t pass the test is there anything in the rules book against players playing in slippers?

  43. Hype O'Thermia

    Orange jackets never lie. They earned even greater mana in Christchurch. Orange jackets make everything OK though as Rachel said, it may not happen straight away.

    Slippers aren’t really up there yet, they’ve yet to recover from Shakespeare’s dissing: “slippered pantaloon”.

    • Elizabeth

      ### 5:30 AM Friday Jul 22, 2011
      Cup deal’s most expensive seats are on the bus
      By Michael Dickison
      A set of $7000 “travel packages” to the final four Rugby World Cup matches has tickets worth $844 – and essentially $5891 worth of bus rides between SkyCity and Eden Park. A man who bought the packages more than a year ago said it was an “absolute rip”, but House of Travel defended its premiums as the price of guaranteed seats.
      Read more

      Price: $6735
      Value of rugby tickets included: $844
      What the $5891 remainder gets: Buses from central Auckland to Eden Park.

  44. Anonymous

    Good game at Carisbrook tonight. Scattering of empty eats in Main Stand. Railway stand almost empty, terracing half full. Neville St and Rose St full. Plot those stats against the pricing and you will get a good idea of the Dunedin population ability to pay for rugbytainment.

  45. Stan

    C’mon Anon, be fair. Some people have already committed a lot of dough to RWC tickets this year. Much harder to justify coughing up even more for an “extra” match against less than stellar opposition.

  46. Anonymous

    That’s why I said “ability to pay”. To make the new stadium profitable requires one major event per week, with many of those drawing from the local population. There just isn’t that much disposable income out there, as your response indicates.

  47. Stan

    While there’s truth in what you say (although I’m not sure what counts as a “major” event), it’s oversimplistic and misrepresents my response – the problem is that a rugby test match targets the disposable income of _exactly_ the same demographic as those who have already purchased RWC tickets. On the other hand, maybe Calvin is right, and only 250 will turn out for the Phoenix game (although I suspect there might be a couple more than that).

    To use a different example, despite the apparently good response to the Elton John concert, I’m glad that the Meatloaf concert didn’t go ahead. I think that it would have struggled for the same reason – the audiences would overlap too much (in age in particular) and people already had John tickets. On the other hand, get Metallica to play three weeks after John – you’d have no trouble selling tickets – different demographic.

    I think that the “stats” you are trying to “plot” are a little more complicated that you are crediting, that’s all.

    • Elizabeth

      “The fine evening failed to bring out the sizeable walk-up crowd the New Zealand Rugby Union was hoping for, with a final tally of about 15,000 spectators a disappointing turnout for the first All Blacks test of this World Cup year.”
      ODT Online 23 Jul 2011

  48. Lindsay

    I am sure you could sell out a Metallica show in Dunedin, but first you would have to get them to agree to come here. If they were playing in Auckland, why would they spend a fortune relocating to Dunedin for one show when they could play two nights in Auckland for no extra cost and at a larger venue in the middle of a far larger population. Some people are under the impression that visiting shows will be falling over themselves to come to Dunedin in addition to other cities in NZ. The promoters know how the numbers work and would likely need some inducement to offset the huge cost of coming here, which makes me wonder exactly what the deal with Elton John’s promoter is.
    As has been pointed out, this is a one-off show which I don’t believe has sold out yet except in Mr Farry’s head.

  49. Russell Garbutt

    Anyone that knows anything about touring acts knows that what Lindsay says is correct. The costs of transporting an act like Metallica is simply huge and the promoters need a guarantee that they can meet their costs and turn a profit. Part of that equation is the numbers in the catchment area. Part of that equation is also the deals that can be done by the owners or operators of the venues. The suspicion is that owners of venues will do deals that will result in a loss – to show that they are actually getting events into the stadium. Unless and until the charges for events are in the public arena, then the suspicion will remain.

    Of course the financials of DVML will also reveal the reality and worse still, the financials of DVL.

  50. Peter

    Of course David Davies/DVML didn’t help things for the future by stuffing things up with Meatloaf by such rudeness and ruthlessness shown to them. The clear message for promoters will be ‘Beware of Dunedin and the Forsyth Barr Stadium’.

  51. Stan

    Oh dear – I grabbed Metallica out of the air as an illustration that different acts/events appeal to different demographics, not to propose that Metallica itself would actually appear in Dunedin. I don’t know whether to be surprised by the “misinterpretation” or not. Whatever.

    All I can say is that a couple of years ago people had me convinced that never ever, no way, definitely not, would any international act appear at FB Stadium. This from people who would say things like “Anyone that knows anything about touring acts…”. Now, supposedly Elton John will be here in November, and there’s even complaints on this very website that Meatloaf wasn’t secured (see Peter above).

    Do I see Dunedin as a major concert venue – of course not – never did, I must confess that I’m a little more open-minded than I used to be however.

  52. Russell Garbutt

    Stan, Metallica was clearly understood purely as an example. It comes down to the factors that I mentioned above and some pretty hard-nosed business decisions that surround entertainment.

    Have a little look at websites of the big acts. You can see quite clearly that their itineraries are well booked out years in advance and in a way that maximises the returns for the performers and their promoters. There is a logical progression where they go and it is done to minimise costs and maximise returns. Nothing silly about that, but realism suggests that in a catchment area as small as Otago, any acts need to be economically worthwhile for the promoter and the performer. For example, Elton John performs in some places that don’t hold many more people than a couple of thousand – but the costs of performing in those areas are way less than a large stadium with all the attendant other risks.

    What the financials of the stadium seem to be saying is a very large number of “big acts” that sell out the stadium need to come to Dunedin almost every week in order to achieve the sorts of income the stadium needs. Do you seriously think this is likely? Do you seriously think there are enough people in the Otago region with enough discretionary spending power to support this?

    The last question to ask yourself is whether you would risk your money by building a stadium based on the projections you can see in the DVML and DVL forecasts. If the answer is “no” as I’m sure it would be, then why should the community do it?

  53. Stan

    “The last question to ask yourself is whether you would risk your money by building a stadium based on the projections you can see in the DVML and DVL forecasts.”

    Russell – Like it or not, the stadium is there. To what extent the community appreciates/embraces it, and is willing to finance it are questions that only time will tell.

    Frankly, I’m more interested thinking about how it might work than rehashing past battles.

  54. Peter

    Stan. For thinking how the stadium might work you need revenue. Right? To get that revenue you need the support of big players in our community as well as those from outside. Right? Well… you’ll be interested to know that I’ve heard from the horse’s mouth that for the free concert in November for the ODT’s 150th Birthday, Allied Press is not paying for commercial hireage of the stadium. They are getting their free party basically for free. We are paying for the party in terms of getting no hireage plus the DCC is giving $70,000 for the party. It all begins to look impossible for the stadium ‘to work’, eh.

  55. Hype O'Thermia

    As Russell says, acts work out their schedule so they can travel as efficiently as possible from A to B to C, not from A to M to S to E.

    Even if an act chooses to appear in Dunedin but not in Auckland, which is unlikely to happen often, would Auckland people – and that’s the biggest centre of potential attendees for any act with the possible exception of synchronised gumboot throwing – would people be more likely to come to Dunedin or go across the ditch? Travelling to Australia is cheaper and more convenient than coming to Dunedin, for most of the population of NZ.

  56. Russell Garbutt

    Stan, a simple question for you then.

    What do you propose that we do to “make the stadium work”?

  57. Anonymous

    Prediction: The 85,000 overseas visitors will be close to 30,000 and Dunedin’s influx will be around 2,000.
    Wonder when people will get the same realisation as a South Pacific islander that the “cargo cult” isn’t going to deliver the goods…?

  58. Lindsay

    I don’t think even the most optimistic people ever considered bands the size of Metallica, The Stones, U2 etc, a possibility for Dunedin. That’s fine, just substitute any act from the next tier down and the same rules apply. The amount of equipment used may cost less to transport but at the same time the drawing power of the act is less, as demonstrated by Elton John’s sole NZ show taking months to sell. What would the situation be if he was also playing in Auckland and Wellington?
    The completion date for the stadium has been known for some time, so where are all the major shows required to keep this thing afloat? As has been pointed out, these type of tours are planned well in advance so it is reasonable to assume that there is nothing else on the horizon except for the ODT show and the RWC which is doing nothing to support the stadium financially. The profits from a couple of shows will simply disappear down the throat of this beast without touching the sides. The more successful it is the less it will cost me as a ratepayer so I honestly hope it can be made to work to some degree.

    “To what extent the community appreciates/embraces it, and is willing to finance it are questions that only time will tell.”

    Hmm, well…. Honestly, I will be struggling to ever appreciate it and I am fairly certain I will never be embracing it. As for financing it, I have not been given that option – unlike the CST which declined – and that is what rankles me somewhat.

    • Elizabeth

      City officials have already cast their eye south to Dunedin where their smaller, yet state-of-the-art, covered stadium was built for about $190 million.

      ### Last updated 05:00 30/07/2011
      Christchurch’s AMI Stadium’s future in doubt
      By Greg Ford
      AMI Stadium looks set to become the latest high-profile casualty of the Christchurch earthquakes. Several high-level rugby sources have confirmed the ground is in a far more serious state of disrepair than previously disclosed. One described the ground as “knackered” and said “there’s no way” the Crusaders will play at the ground next year. Another added the venue, which has been the heart of Canterbury sport for more than a century, may never reopen in its current guise. – The Press
      Read more

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