Tighten your girthstraps, boys!

To whom do we refer? Why, of course, the chaps at DVML, DVL, DCHL, CST, ORC, ORFU, and good ol’ DCC. Our fortunes will turn around with a daring bout of animal cruelty coming to a stadium near you! We always said gladiatorial blood sport was a far better thing than thugby, and we have the precise fodder to please the crowds. Roll up! Roll up!

We woke from warm wandering dreams to idle news of a one-off rodeo. It’s still animal cruelty, and will appeal to all rednecks, but maybe we can run the local mobsters at the bulls instead – at the very least give them a sorry arse from bronc riding… it’ll all work out.

Did someone mention venue hire fees to the wranglers?

Or to the aged people from overseas who might sing stadium swansongs for us. The stadium going out to Stevie Nicks, in a snagged broken crumble of flaked paint and rusted trusses would be the ultimate romance. Bye cruel world…

Dunedin is dark.

Meanwhile, our southern sister city Christchurch walks the walk.
Received this morning:

Hype O’Thermia
Submitted on 2012/06/15 at 8:52 am


It’s about the opportunities people in Christchurch have had – have TAKEN – to do stuff that was awesome while the authorities were too busy to find a rule to stop them. Now they’ve got the bit between their teeth: doing things to make the city better is being reclaimed piece by piece. Shows how well a city can do things when it can’t manage to mobilise enough staff to prevent initiatives that aren’t owned by themselves, over-priced, micro-managed and generally a bit on the downhill side of ineffectual (from what we see in Dunedin).

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Adventure sport, Architecture, Business, Concerts, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Fun, Geography, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, ORC, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

69 responses to “Tighten your girthstraps, boys!

  1. Anonymous

    What venue hire fees? There won’t be any. That is a question of substance the ORT will of course ignore in favour of a sound bite by their mayor Dave Cull, including such favourites as “successful” and “multi-purpose”.

    These loss-leading stadium events are showboats to justify the reckless position on building the thing – for you and me, that’s the New Our Stadium Mayor, his “let’s make it work at any cost” colleagues and the Stadium Councillors.

    As for a swansong, no doubt the Smiths will belt out another tune for the poor creatures to feed on. This city is already cowed into submission so bet on the Stakeholders’ Visions of riding ratepayers into the dirt becoming a private attraction at their stadium.

    There’s an election coming up and the Stakeholders have a lot of visions still riding on the backs of the Stadium Councillors and weakness of this city’s leaders.

    Ride ’em Old Boys!

    • Elizabeth

      More contemplative than your average rodeo steer…

      ### ODT Online Tue, 17 Jul 2012
      Dalai Lama to revisit city
      By Nigel Benson
      The Dalai Lama is to visit Dunedin next year for a public talk planned at Forsyth Barr Stadium. He will visit Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland, from June 10-12, the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand announced yesterday.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Holy cow.

        ### ch9.co.nz July 17, 2012 – 7:06pm
        Dalai Lama’s proposed visit puts smile on face
        The Dalai Lama’s proposed visit to Dunedin has put a wry smile on the face of the man behind Forsyth Barr Stadium.

  2. Amanda

    Show us the money stadium muppets. If the rodeo is a ‘freebie’ paid for by the ratepayer, then folks, this ain’t nothin’ but a gosh darn con’, so that ‘business genius stakeholders’ and some dunderhead councillors can still tell the little fantasy that the stadium is ‘working’ to save their political and business careers.

  3. Amanda

    Media are you listening? or still all sleepy eyed and docile? will you ask how much this will bludge off ratepayers so that stakeholders can come out smelling of roses, or will you roll over to have your tummies tickled?

  4. Amanda

    Aside from the pathetic likelihood that there will not be a profit (we are treated like peasants who cannot figure out that this means increasing debt for the city), the animal cruelty is disturbing, I have some idea they do something to make the horses buck in pain(?).

    • Elizabeth

      The best idea is to put the girthstraps* on the good ‘ol boys, not the defenceless animals. That’s the aim people. Wind them up tight. The bar brawl’s just starting.

      [*A flank strap is used on horses and cattle. This strap ‘works’ from pressure, just like a choke chain for a dog or a bit in a saddle horse’s mouth. It’s tightened in the same way you cinch a girth on a riding saddle, except that the flank has a quick release. Rodeo horses are usually bred for their bucking ability and stamina. All horses buck until they’re taught not to – broncs are rewarded for their bucking, by pressure and release. If you put a flank strap on an unbroken horse that has had little human contact, it will buck. The flank strap is a belt made from leather covered with sheepskin or fake sheepskin, it has a quick release buckle. Before the flank strap is put on the horse the leather is dressed with talcum powder so as the horse exits the chute the flank strap is tightened – they use the powder to make it slip without binding. This comes nowhere near the “parts” but is used as a cue to buck.]

      I certainly don’t support the ill treatment of animals. And I don’t support rodeo treatment of animals. Fullstop.
      I do support comeuppance for those that rort Dunedin residents and ratepayers.

      • Elizabeth

        Submitted by topsy on Fri, 15/06/2012 – 7:17pm.

        This is a great idea and any exposure has to be good for the future viability of the stadium. It’s important to keep some perspective with regard to this event. This isn’t a large international rodeo event, rather it’s one of the largest international indoor rodeo events. It’s a bit like having the fastest car in your family. As mentioned in the article, this isn’t a “one time exclusive” event. Rather, it is the second event in a nationwide series, held one week before the same event in Hamilton. Previously this event has been held in the former Westpac Arena in Christchurch and will return to Christchurch (according to the promoter) once the Christchurch rebuild process is more established.
        Read full comment at ODT Online

  5. Mike

    No problem – the article heading in today’s City Talk explains the DCC’s attitude to stadium funding to a ‘t’: “Keeping Rates Rises on Track”

    Because heaven help us we might get behind on our rates rises

    • Elizabeth

      Mike – is this Rodney’s last laugh.

      City Talk June 2012 (PDF, 4.0 MB)
      This edition features articles about Life On The Shelf, Wall Street Bullish, Putting Our Home In Order, Best Foot Forward, Rates: Core Business, Making Dunedin One Of The Great Small Cities, Power To The People, Across the Boards.

      Read past issues of City Talk here.

  6. Anonymous

    Well spotted Mike. It could swing either way – the arrogance and multi-million dollar budget of the new Communications Department being too clever or a last laugh from Old Rodders.

    The story though is pure propaganda, insinuating a billion dollars of debt is related to meeting higher standards and infrastructure projects. It associates the Stadium Soldier’s script that the museums, libraries and playgrounds (did you see what they did there?) are part and parcel with the debt. Clearly the men pictured running are somehow to blame too although I’m not sure how unless it represents the Stadium Councillors scurrying for cover or the Stakeholders leaving town.

    Given a large proportion of current and future debt is associated with their damned stadium, I was unable to find the word “stadium” in the story, nor any picture even though room is available on the spread.

    I expect we will get worse from whatever crap is issued by the Spooks but until then it is good to know this hijacked bit of stadium paraphernalia has been finally relegated to the recycle bin.

    • Elizabeth

      Dunedin – these are the boys, a little punch drunk after NO placing, who bet on, fought over, and wasted all your money when sheriffs Chin and Cull neglected to load and pack their six-guns to take out highwaymen and loose shonky varmints amongst you. The law enforcement badges no longer shine. Upend these cowpokes all, in the barrel.


      For today we quietly considered how much more rustling has occurred. Shotgun Times may deduce similarly. We’ll do some diligence.

  7. Anonymous

    As genuine as an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.

    Ratepayers will want to acknowledge the Stadium Councillors again for their support of this stadium and ensuring the vision for the Stakeholders who have grown wealthier from the massive debt forced on this city.

    As this is the stuff of news, we can expect the Otago Daily Times to print their names in tomorrow’s newspaper as it too will want to acknowledge the people who made it all possible.

    In the unlikely event they are short of space due to a full complement of rugby articles and council advertising, further information is available at https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/does-the-insolvent-orfu-deserve-any-more-community-support/#comment-22110 and contact information here http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/your-council/councillors.

    Congratulations Stadium Councillors! You deserve everything you get.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s been advertised so it must be happening….
    except that at the very moment Our Malc was painting verbal visions of superstar concerts I recalled shows advertised, good shows, that a couple of weeks later were cancelled because the bookings for the Regent were too sparse.
    Mind you promoters had to pay to use the Regent, so that must have made a difference.

  9. Brh

    My only fear is that if the powers to be do pull this Int Rodeo off with the big entertainment they promise ie Fleetwood Mac & The Eagles, will we the duped ratepayers get a fair chance to purchase tickets before the rest of the country. AAA entertainment sells out bloody fast and Otago/Southland locals deserve to have their fare share of varied price tickets without losing out.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    So, “old Rodders” is a ‘gone burger’. Make that three or four burgers. I can’t wait to see the surprise he is going to come up with. Unless it is an early superannuation. Twenty years and 85 issues of self congratulatory ‘pap’ But then of course there was the ‘fixagrams.’ Died a natural death, like the siestas in the caravan he used to park up in the suburbs in order to provide a sort of ‘confessional’ to the ‘plebs’. Yep! an innovator of some substance (pun intended) our ‘old Rodders’. He will be given a fond farewell when he goes, cream buns and custard squares all round.

  11. Hype O'Thermia

    Actually I liked fixagrams, they worked. There didn’t seem to be the old processes for shuffling them around till they turned to dust then pretending the matter had never been reported. Thus much more effective than an ordinary phone call or letter. There’s an online equivalent, also fairly good.
    EARLY retirement? Rodney’s not been a youngster for a very long time.

    • Elizabeth

      Je regret – Rodders didn’t manage to get the last City Talk delivered to our apartments’ ordinary street addresses in Pitt St. On his to do list for a very long time, not easy to instruct delivery contractors. And it’s not like we would ever bribe him with more cream cakes. He needed his own Fixagram.

      • Elizabeth

        Actually, the promoter can PISS OFF. Darryl Tomblesom.

        ### ch9.co.nz June 19, 2012 – 5:35pm
        Event will find multiple uses for stadium
        Bronco hooves are set to dig deep into Forsyth Barr Stadium in November, but the venue’s turf should be none the worse for wear. The promoter of the recently announced International Rodeo says the event, and bands he plans to bring to Dunedin, will find multiple purposes for the multi-purpose venue.

  12. Phil

    They can find all the uses they like, I’ve no doubt about that. But until they can find one where the income to the stadium exceeds the costs incurred by the stadium, it’s all rather pointless. North and South America, Australia, and NZ are the only regions who still consider rodeos to be an acceptable form of entertainment. Says a lot about the mentality.

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s an attractive proposition, free use of a stadium. That’s cheaper than the Inbred Hollow Memorial Hall.

  14. Mike

    Talking about costs of using the stadium twice recently I’ve tried to post in the ODT an analysis of what it should cost to go to the rugby in Dunedin (today in response from a direct question from a stadium supporter) – it’s obvious it’s not welcome news – so for the record ….

    So how much should a rugby ticket cost? At least enough so that the city breaks even on a year when the team isn’t doing so well.

    At the moment we know:
    – The NZRFU has a (somewhat) secret deal where the venue operator supposedly gets 20% of the gate
    – It costs about $100k to open the doors for a game (probably more now that DVML is doing all of the ORFU’s marketting, etc)
    – Ticket prices ($20 adult, $7.50 students/kids) average out at around $15/person who attends the games

    At the moment the DCC gets 20% of $15 or $3 per person who attends – this means that to break even there need to be $100k/$3 or 33,000 attendees – but there are only 17,000 permanent seats in the stadium and they’re usually not all full – without a 33,000 seat rugby stadium the city will always lose money on rugby games – each and every one, always.

    Worst case attendences at Carisbrook were in the sub 5,000 range – let’s be charitable and assume that the North vs South game attendance of 7,000 will be the worst attendance at a rugby game in the stadium ever – to break even in the worst years the DCC must earn $100k/7,000 or about $14 (rather than $3) per ticket.

    Now if the NZRFU’s contract is immutable and if the DCC’s cut is $14 then average ticket price has to be $70 ($93 adults, $35 kids/students).

    On the other hand if the NZRFU changes its contract to pay the city its simple costs then the price of an average ticket will increase by $14-$3 = $11 to $26 ($35 adults, $13 students/kids).

    There you have it: $35 adults, $13 students/kids and the city will break even on every game – this just covers operating costs for the stadium, it does nothing to pay down the giant stadium debt – that would require $100-$215 extra per ticket (for 7000-15000 to attend each of 10 games a year) over and above the amount required to get the stadium to break even on its day to day running costs.

  15. Mike

    BTW – if I can figure out that the city will lose money on EVERY rugby game played at the stadium after 10 minutes work, it should have been obvious to Farry, chairman of the Highlanders, with all these details in front of him, when he ran the numbers before he proposed to the city that they should build his team a new stadium.

    Not to be cynical or anything.

    • Elizabeth

      Mike, this should’ve been an easy story months ago for independent newspapers of Dunedin – with Farry made to explain himself.
      Worse, DCC also failed to calculate the raw on behalf of its citizens. WAY before budgets and approvals happened.
      Being fully cynical… given Athol could have redeemed himself from penury.

  16. Phil

    I see it’s going to cost a minimum of $50 to get through the gate to watch the rodeo. $140 if you want to bring your spouse and 2 kids with you. How many people are going to want to pay that much to watch a group of cockies from Millers Flat chasing terrified animals around for an hour ? If they are that keen, they could wait a few weeks, watch the same neanderthals parade around in Outram, and save themselves a cool 30 bucks per ticket. Again, the only person making a profit out of this will be the promoter.

  17. Phil

    Malcolm always knew the stadium could never cover its operating costs. That’s why he never answered any questions with regard to the operating costs, during construction. Despite those costs being easily sourced from other stadia, and despite the projected operational expenses being listed in reports to Council during the same period. Conveniently, those specific costs were “blacked out” whenever the documents were publicly released, citing the get Out of Jail Free card of “commercial sensitivity”. Those sections were not blacked out, however, when they were read by each and every councillor. So there’s not a one of them who can sit there and say that they didn’t know that the stadium could not pay its operational costs. They knew, and they still endorsed.

  18. Calvin Oaten

    Phil: “They knew, and they endorsed.” This presupposes that they understood. Looking at the motley bunch around that table would have encouraged Malcolm on that score.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    Talk of the resurfacing of ghosts of the past, I see the ‘crooked lawyer Michael Guest’ has been back at his trade in Wanaka. He advocated for a Filipino mechanic in an unjustified dismissal case. The mechanic was awarded a total of $12,216 in lost wages, compensation and costs. You would wonder how much he gets to keep after Guest plunders him. The price of a ‘pizza’ I shouldn’t wonder.

  20. Mike

    I thought they took his licence away – I wonder if the head of the Highlanders still owns part of his house in Dunedin (or at least is on the DCC books as a ratepayer)

    • Elizabeth

      Have a feeling they put him under supervision and he was to have nothing to do with billing services – can’t remember for how long. Perhaps someone in the legal fraternity can provide an update.

  21. Anonymous

    The whole stadium business is messed up which ever way you play it but the Followers of Rugby Religion still put up the most fascinating arguments. Take Mgaharp for instance. It’s a laugh out loud post – protect the turf! Oh but hang on… it’s the Highlanders he or she is admonishing.


  22. anonymouse

    Decision expected on Dunedin indoor rodeo show

    By: Newstalk ZB staff | Lower South Island News | Saturday September 22 2012 14:43

    The company taking a worldwide indoor rodeo to Dunedin should know by next week if it’ll get help with production costs.

    Forsyth Barr Stadium will host the world’s largest indoor rodeo show outside Las Vegas in November.

    The company behind the event, Force Majeure Events International, says it was denied funding the first time it applied for grants.

    Dunedin Venues spokesperson Jo Scully says a decision on the latest application is expected within days.

    Ms Scully wouldn’t say how much money had been applied for.

  23. Annon

    Be careful of this management company. Full of s#%€*

  24. Melissa

    The Brendon Ham band isn’t exactly what this promoter promised. I think it’s just wishful thinking on this promoter’s part that they could get The Eagles or Fleetwood Mac. In the meantime he gets everyone’s hopes up. I have never heard of a promoter that speculates who he might get. He just talks it up to sell more tickets. Get the big names first before you start promoting your event.

  25. Anonymous

    “Next week” was end of September, deadline has come and gone with no update.

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Ringo Starr doesn’t seem convinced that Dunedin’s Fubar with a ROOF is a must-see / must-perform-in :
    Ringo Starr and the All Starrs
    February 7 – CBS Arena, Christchurch
    February 9 – Vector Arena, Auckland

  27. BillyBob

    Apples and Oranges. CBS Arena and Vector Arena are much smaller venues.

    Didn’t realise Richard Starkey was still alive.

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    The Fubar Stadium has proved its adaptability as a venue by events attended by small numbers, so what’s your point here?.

  29. Peter

    The stadium proponents always believed that the ROOF – the point of difference – would make this baby hum. It hasn’t.

  30. BillyBob

    A point of difference is only a point of difference if there is a difference. CBS and Vector Arenas both have roofs. Presumably the promoters thought that the capacities of those 2 venues were a good match for the likely demand for a Ringo Starr concert. Let’s face it, without his Beatle buddies, he is hardly in the same league as Coldplay, U2 or Elton John.

  31. Calvin Oaten

    I think you are wrong there Peter. That baby does ‘hum’. In fact so badly that no-one wants to be there.

  32. Peter

    Haha, Calvin. In an auditory sense you are totally right. Those who regularly experience cacophany at the stadium, and enjoy it, are obviously deaf ( apologies to those with hearing problems) or are headbangers from way back.

  33. Calvin Oaten

    Peter, I thinking more in an olfactory sense.

  34. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Nov 2012
    Stadium transformed for international rodeo
    By Chris Morris
    Horses, clowns and heavy machinery were let loose as Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin was transformed into an indoor rodeo arena for the first time yesterday. The feat was accomplished in a frenetic few hours, as trucks rolled in from 6am to deliver hundreds of tonnes of wooden flooring, plastic and soil for tonight’s 2012 International Rodeo. The materials were for a 50m by 30m rodeo arena at the venue’s western end, as well as chutes, stocks and even a cowboy bar – all on the stadium’s pristine surface.
    Read more

  35. Anonymous

    It’s a lot of effort to go to for a crowd of 6000 (gate of $540K maximum)
    $100K for the event hire (I know, stop laughing)
    $100K for the preparation of the venue
    performer fees, prize money etc etc
    Don’t think we are getting our ambulance…

  36. Phil

    Barrel racing I’ll give them. That’s a legitimate equestrian sport with all parties needing to work together. I’ve got no problem with that. Everything else is just a glorified hunt, and that’s the reason why so many countries shun the rodeo (allowing only barrel racing events). Despite how often a paid rodeo announcer (no conflict of interest there, right) might protest. Hang your collective heads in shame, Dunedin Stadium.

    • Elizabeth

      Bucking bulls, country music and horse trickery attracted 7500 to the event, held for the first time south of Christchurch. Despite problems with the sound system and wet soil, organisers said the rodeo was an overall success and they would consider bringing it back to Dunedin.

      Although he was not able to buy Dunedin a medical vehicle, Mr Tombleson said he had given away more than $40,000 worth of rodeo tickets and supported other local charities.


  37. Peter

    The report itself gave the flavour of the true ‘success’ of the event-underwhelming- but the boys in Murray’s backroom gave a headline that mismatched the story.Typical.
    This is one rodeo organiser who obviously WON’T be coming back. He’ll ‘consider’ it. A polite let down if ever there was one.
    Deliciously ironical that the brought in soil was wet…. and we have a ‘roofed’ stadium. Forgetting about the cost, this stadium is proving to be hugely entertaining as it limps along.

  38. Anonymous

    “Mr Tombleson said selling 7500 tickets “wasn’t too bad” and the event was profitable, but by how much he could not say.

    It depended to an extent on how many attended the rodeo in Hamilton on Saturday, he said.”

    So they made a loss on the Dunedin event and hope to make it back via sales in Hamilton.

    And yet another negative review for sound quality inside the stadium.

  39. Peter

    Yeah, and ‘it wasn’t too good’ either.

  40. Calvin Oaten

    Did Mr Tombleson say he gave away $40,000 worth of tickets? At $20 each that would account for 2,000 of the 7,500 claimed attendance. 5,500 wouldn’t cover a hat-full of expenses. That’s one sort of bull we won’t hear at the stadium again. But never mind there are plenty of others.

  41. Peter

    Another attempt ‘to make the stadium work’ is down the drain. Next attempt, please.
    I guess this will be the ‘Horses and Hollies’ Show. Yee hah! I see in yesterday’s Sunday Star Times an advert for the Hollies. Apparently they are also appearing in four North Island venues as well. Auckland, Hamilton Napier and Palmerston North. Auckland and Napier, in some winery, and the other two in smaller venues, by the sound of it. Dunedin has the sole South Island venue – Friday 1 Feb. The stadium will give a new opportunity for the ticket buyers to appreciate its superb acoustics and sound system.

  42. Anonymous

    Skimming the Otago Daily Times today resulted in an initial impression it was an overwhelming success. I actually bought into it because I know people were going to be seen to support the bloody stadium.

    Joyful heading, success and another Forsyth Barr Blah promo in the introduction. But 7500 is a piss poor result. As bad as the rugby pimp that paper pumps.

    I think its sponsoring of a stand has done little for its hopey stuff.

  43. Peter

    Elizabeth. Word of mouth is usually a good recommendation.

  44. BillyBob

    Probably the biggest attendance ever at a Rodeo in New Zealand.

  45. Peter

    Yes, Elizabeth, the building speaks very loudly now, up and down the country, and overseas, now, in dear, old England/Wales.

    • Elizabeth

      There is that. I hope David Davies has fully recovered from his stint in the Colonies. Contracting Malcolm Fever is near terminal in most cases.

  46. Peter

    I suspect the recovery will be a long and arduous one. I wonder if he has a voodoo doll to help with his therapy.

  47. Anon

    Sorry NZ but the promoter was never going to give you an ambulance he’s not called dodgey daryl for nothing

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