Stadium crowd, Friday 19 October – how many?

Otago v Tasman (ITM Cup)

Received today.

Calvin Oaten says (via email):
“In Sat. ODT it credited the Friday night game crowd at 6780. These are a scan of the crowd by Jeremy. Can you see any more than about 2000?”

Rugby: Otago gets up to make final

Images [JPGs] supplied by Jeremy Belcher. Screenshot: What if?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DVML, Economics, Events, Hot air, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Pics, Sport, Stadiums

47 responses to “Stadium crowd, Friday 19 October – how many?

  1. Pedant

    More importantly, who let all those peasants onto the hallowed turf?

  2. Phil

    Remember that the ground numbers are not given as the number of people who actually attended, but as the number of seats allocated for the match. That includes season tickets, corporate box seats, tickets given away as part of promotions, unclaimed or unused promotional tickets. If a corporate box has 20 seats, but only 5 people turn up to that corporate box, the ground figures still report 20 seats being used. If a season ticket holder doesn’t go to the match, the figures still report their seat as being used. On one side, the seat income is the same whether the person attends or not. So that’s not an issue. However, the venue as a whole will only benefit if the person actually attends, buys beer and chips, drinks at the pub on the way home, and so forth. In that respect, the actual number of people who passed through the gate is important to know. Unfortunately the ticket allocation method appears to be the preferred method of reporting in this country. For the obvious PR reason.

  3. Rob Hamlin

    My word Phil you are well informed – as usual.

  4. ormk

    As Mike points out in a comment on the ODT – this small crowd has to pay (it’d be good to know how many of those tickets are promotional). A Big Day Out event was suggested. Nice idea to have such an event in Dunedin but the stadium offers very little as a venue. The sound quality is not going to pass muster. It’d be better to just do it outside – the rain is of secondary importance – just need to look at Glastonbury in the UK to see that.

  5. ormk

    I’ve just had an idea of how to raise ticket prices. Sprinklers should be installed above the seats. Seating areas should operate with a variable “chance of rain”. That way true rugby fans who are passionate about the game could go cheaply. Those who really want a dry place to stuff their faces with pies and cheap beer away from the missus can pay. Still seems like an unlikely business model.

    Haven’t the DCC got a cheek asking for ideas on how to make the Stadium work? They should consider it for what it is – a sunk cost.

  6. Rob Hamlin

    We paid more than 10 million bucks for what purported to be a professional feasibility analysis and business plan for this structure. Maybe as Big Malc was the principal purveyor of this ‘product’ and now appears to be at a loose end, he could consider going to work on this matter on a ‘fees already prepaid’ basis that the citizenry has already paid the CST handsomely while under his control to provide what it does not now seem to have, and is now also being asked to provide on a no-fee basis.

    • Elizabeth

      Sounding tawdry, like Cull’s mayoralty – the sick joke:

      ### ODT Online Wed, 24 Oct 2012
      Stadium use ideas sought
      By Chris Morris
      The Dunedin City Council is asking the public for ideas as it searches for ways to make the most of Forsyth Barr Stadium. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday issued an invitation to anyone with a suggestion to share it with the council, as part of a wide-ranging review of the stadium’s operation.
      Read more

      Mathew says: “What do we do with a stadium”

      Dunedin City Council
      Media Release

      Community Input Wanted for Forsyth Barr Stadium Review

      This item was published on 23 Oct 2012.

      The Dunedin City Council is seeking community input into its review of the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s operation and funding. The Stadium has been operating for more than a year now, and in May, the Council agreed that it would be timely to undertake a review of its operations and funding model.

      The DCC’s review includes an invitation to the community to make suggestions for improvements. Of particular focus is how to ensure that the community can use the Stadium and how its operating costs can be reduced, while optimising revenue.

      Mayor Dave Cull says, “I am looking forward to hearing from Dunedin people about how we can improve their use of the Stadium. I welcome any ideas, and we will consider all of them as we work to ensure the Stadium is used to its full potential.”

      This information will supplement DCHL’s investigation into the financial and operating model of the Stadium.

      People can provide their thoughts and ideas online at until Friday 9 November.

      The more than 220 organisations that have used the Stadium facilities will be surveyed directly, a survey will be sent to the 625 People’s Panel members and an invitation to provide comments will also be sent to community groups.

      Once the community input has been received, it, and the results of DCHL’s study, will be considered by the Stadium Model Subcommittee, of which Mayor Dave Cull is the Chair.

      If required, a second round of community feedback may be sought through focus groups or a follow-up survey to investigate concepts or ideas in greater detail.

      Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 477 4000.

      DCC Link

      • Elizabeth


        ### ODT Online Wed, 24 Oct 2012
        Rodeo promoter makes healthy offer
        By Rosie Manins
        Dunedin’s support for an international rodeo will be rewarded with the donation of an emergency response vehicle, the event’s promoter says. Force Majeure Events International chief executive Darryl Tombleson said if 15,000 or more tickets sold for the November 17 rodeo at Forsyth Barr Stadium he would buy a first response medical emergency vehicle for the city.
        Read more

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    There’s a gaping hole in the Consumer Guarantees Act: “We paid more than 10 million bucks for what purported to be a professional feasibility analysis and business plan for this structure” as Rob Hamlin says.

    • Elizabeth

      The $10 million rip off, as Rob recounts.

      We’re not happy to run this ad again, we’d rather invoice Malcolm Farry for the missing loot.

      Another bullet point he left off is “Misuse of public funds” – an expert in the field.

  8. Peter

    This exercise in ‘let’s hear your good ideas to make the stadium to work’ is proof of the panic that Calvin spoke of earlier. Basically they are saying they have none and are putting it on us to come up with the goods to rescue them…. and us.
    Remember dear, old Malcolm has said that it was his job to provide the stadium and we were only limited by our imaginations as to what we could do with it. It seems we are all rather dim, after all these years, and have come up with nothing exciting and financially sustainable.Except till now. What, we could be more creative than a ‘Horses and Hollies’ combo show?

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Let’s all put in a submission in response to Dave Cull’s invitation. He is asking for any and all suggestions as to how best alleviate the burden of the Stadium. For what it is worth, I have submitted. See below.

    The official level of Stadium debt assumed by Dunedin Venues Ltd. is $146.6 million.
    This capital is to be paid down by DCHL at $5m per annum. This will take 29.32 years. Interest at 7% pa would, on standard table mortgage terms, cost $5.131m pa. Therefore total annual outlay is $10.131m. This spread over 53,000 ratepayers would give a median level of $191.15 pa for 29.32 years. The total cost would be $297.04 million.
    To this would be the risk of DCHL not producing the $5m pa, plus any variation of the interest rate from 7% over the term. Added to this would be the operating costs/losses over the period which, in view of the fact that DVML (managers) are already operating at substantial deficits plus DVL totally relying on DCHL’s subvention payments of over $7 million pa being extremely problematic, it is clear that the costs per ratepayer will be considerably increased over the $191.15 pa.
    All this points to the fact that if council was competent, forthright and did its own due diligence, it would then, if honest, front the people with the unvarnished truth, own up and tell them of the real situation. It would admit its failings in having seen this project ever being put into place, own up and apologise. It should then recommend that the Stadium should be shut down and the costs stabilised as outlined above. It should point out the fiscal risks of continuing operations in a true, no frills manner.
    It should then invite the public to a referendum on whether they wished to carry on this extremely high risk activity or whether they are prepared to continue supporting the project regardless of the extremely high risk of escalating costs to be borne directly by the ratepayers. Anything less would be a deceit perpetrated by council upon the very people it is pledged to protect. All it would take would be an act of honest fronting the people with the truth, something which has for far too long been manipulated, obfuscated and denied all along. Will this happen? Not in a month of Sundays. Why? Because they are all so compromised as to be in a position that none would have the intestinal fortitude to come clean. They would just prefer to continue to hoodwink the people for as long as they can until they can slip out the back door and be away

    • Elizabeth

      The cheapest way to fix Dave Cull’s incompetence is to ship him to White Island with no rations. The need for this ‘consultation’ is insulting and far from businesslike or professional. It shows the Dunedin City Council up as an inept, corrupt, fraudulent and entirely laughable lightweight local body. Like we’ve been saying all along since Malcolm Farry, Git Extraordinaire, decided he wanted to assume some height above his shortness. A dentist for god’s sake. And charlatan. Who thought a stadium would be a “legacy” to his children, and in the Farry name… (oh dear), to the City. The parochial small town idiocy knows no bounds here.

  10. ormk

    Though one has to consider that asking the community for ideas on how to make the stadium work is a way of acknowledging that it isn’t working right now – please polish our turd. I don’t think we can fix this problem locally. In the end we’ll need national help to clean up the corruption.

  11. MichaelA

    On the assumption that the ODT will again refuse to publish this in the comments section of their paper I’ll take the liberty of publishing on your excellent site. Many thanks!

    It’s interesting that the council has invited the public to submit their ideas on how to make the stadium work. This can be read as a tacit admission that the stadium is not working, as least not as ‘visualised’ by the people that voted to build it. Or, it may be that the stadium is working entirely as expected but its supporters can’t bring themselves to admit that it’s a lemon. I think it’s important to remember that 76% of Dunedin people didn’t want to build the stadium in the first place. These 76% should now keep their distance from proposals to make it work. I think a better place to begin would be some accountablity from council explaining why they voted to proceed with it in the first place after which the books can be opened and ratepayers can see exactly what it will cost now and in the future. In a nutshell, how about letting ratepayers know exactly what they are in for before inviting them to salvage this wreck?

  12. Peter

    As yet, the council cannot countenance an independent cost/benefit analysis of the stadium and, based on that, decide whether we keep the stadium open or close it. Why? Because such an analysis might tell them it would be cheaper to close it? Because corrupt rugby interests might not like it?

  13. amanda

    I agree ormk. It is a cheek of Cull and Greater Dunedin and Syd’s stadium cabal to now suddenly show any interest in what Dunedin people have to say about the stadium. I think it is all part of the agenda of protecting the reputations of Our Local Business Genius Stakeholders and to eventually blame the stadium debacle on Dunedin people and not St Farry and co. They must not be allowed to have egg on their faces. Eventually, we will hear that St Farry was not keen on a stadium but Dunedin people demanded one and he reluctantly relented. A big rewrite is underway about the whole stadium con with Farry and co wantting to be as far away as possible, they have done very nicely afterall, but we are going to be left holding the bag.

  14. amanda

    Exactly MichaelA. I think the DCC want our input so that they can blame us when nobody can come up with an idea to make the lemon ‘work’. Then they can go “well, it’s not the stadium that is to blame, it is all of you useless no ideas people’. Pathetic. But predictable of how bullies operate; anything to avoid responsibility and blame it on the victims of their con.

  15. amanda

    And isn’t it interesting that the ODT is not bothered with accountability for the stadium debacle from councillors sitting around the council table? That is very instructive in itself and a big part of the answer to how the whole con was perpetrated on our city.

    • Elizabeth

      It still makes me angry that all the senior businessmen in Dunedin, successful in their own right, who have absolutely no business connection with the likes of Farry(s) as a matter of principle, have steadily maintained public silence on the stadium fiasco, DCC finances, and DCHL/subsidiaries – demonstrating no spine or leadership, and not setting a good example by supporting the community to uncover the fraud and corruption.
      Well, good to see Adam Feeley, former Serious Fraud Office chief executive, now in position at Queenstown Lakes District Council (as of 23 October). As Martin Legge says, Feeley is here now amongst the roosters.
      There’s interesting paperwork from Dunedin currently hitting important desks around the country, the responses will be enlightening one way or the other. Some will want to hang onto their hats.

  16. Russell Garbutt

    We have already paid for a “professional” outfit called The Marketing Bureau to come up with the uses of the stadium. Well over $600k was shelled out to hear Royal Tours and the World Swimming Championships. Idiot Farry and his CST mob aided and abetted by Jimbo and co managed to swing that deal.

    So why should we, who didn’t want the thing in the first place, solve Farry’s problems? The best possible thing to do would be to shut it – it certainly doesn’t take a genius to work that out, but can you see Brown and co voting for that? Too many nasty things in the woodshed for that.

  17. amanda

    And more to the point, the local media disinterest in political accountability for the Stadium Con, means that the city will get the same incompetent councillors sitting around the council table next year; welcome back Crs Noone, Hudson, Brown, Bezett, Collins, Weatherall and Acklin! You are all useless, but so what? The local media is not bothered by your incompetence so you will get a free pass back into positions of power and influence. Any wonder the city is in the fiscal quagmire it is?

  18. amanda

    I look at it the same way I look at Greater Dunedin and their complicit silence. Both politicians and businesspeople are innately conservative ; business people, like politicians, have to recognise who has the power and not challenge these people and above all Keep Their Mouths Shut. A politician wants to be elected again, a businessman wants to make a profit, and if both pis* off the powerful, they will pay for it by losing elections or profit. That’s why we cannot look to the smart who are in the chamber of commerce to help us out, they would be risking their businesses to challenge the stakeholders

    • Elizabeth

      They’re complacent. Good business is to show ethics and responsibility, not swear behind your hand at the likes of Lesser Dunedin and bent chancellors and ex-chancellors of the university, for example. Some of us were raised to do business and not be hypocritical or self-defeating; that applies to people in business at all levels of investment and from all walks of life. Integrity.

      • Elizabeth

        Some blame attaches to the legal profession. Dunedin is a small rural service town, with a Law School. There’s enough law offices dotted about the CBD to keep a heavy lid on the litany of misadventures and loud voices of protest, and calling local media to heel.

        • Elizabeth

          My gateman (and counter) indicates a good portion of the crowd left the stadium prior to fulltime on Friday because they thought Otago would be thrashed. Wow, good sportsmanship at Dunedin is a dying art where professional rugby is concerned, in so many ways. Disgusting behaviour – neither Otago or Tasman deserve that.

        • Elizabeth

          Said concretely, as usual [and abridged by ODT, as freaking usual]

          Three simple ideas
          Submitted by farsighted on Wed, 24/10/2012 – 5:07pm.

          Idea #1: A full, independent inquiry into all stadium transactions and SH88-related transactions. Complete transparency.

          Idea #2: Recoup from those business planners and trustees and consultants all monies paid for feasibility studies, audits of business plans etc as those items produced are obviously worthless.

          Idea #3: Recoup from the ORFU all monies owed and set rates for stadium use that fully cover costs for all rugby-related events.

          Once you have done those 3 things, Mayor Cull, then we’ll talk. [Abridged]

  19. amanda

    To repeat myself as I do, the media disenterest in holding local stakeholders to account is crucial in the whole con, and reputable businesspeople will have noticed that the local media (that means you ODT) is not holding to account the stakeholders fiscal ineptitude, essentially giving stakeholders carte blanche to continue their agenda and holding onto influence.

  20. Anonymous

    That paper is still in denial about how its newsworthiness impacts on its worthiness. Its support of the stadium fiasco, sheltering of the Stadium Councillors and protection of their Stakeholders has contributed to subscribers recognising a newspaper subscription for what it is: A non-essential cost of living. If only this corrupt council had treated other peoples’ money in the same way rate and rent-payers have to bare theirs. But then the Stakeholders wouldn’t have got their millions and Allied Press would have had to pay for its own bloody party.

  21. Anonymous

    The bit they abridged was under idea #1: “Prosecute any transactions that are subject to a conflict of interest”

  22. Peter

    The ODT never reports conflicts of interest until it is forced to do so by other papers reporting them. So heavily conflicted themselves, of course. At best, they don’t want to be seen as hypocritical.

    • Elizabeth

      Plain as day, thanks JimmyJones. [our bolding]

      Stadium cone of silence
      Submitted by JimmyJones on Wed, 24/10/2012 – 9:13pm.

      The FB Stadium problem is not a lack of school-boy rugby being played there. The main problem is the horrendously large ongoing costs of paying for its operation and construction. These costs are being borne by the city’s ratepayers and will continue to be a noose around the neck of Dunedin’s economy for as long as the DCC decide to keep operating their stadium. The stadium was promoted as an economic development project under Peter Chin’s leadership, but the result has been the exact opposite: economic decay. We see the destructive effects of this from DCHL’s increasing debt and its recent change from being a profitable business to a loss-making business.

      Another serious problem is the reluctance of Mayor Dave Cull and his staff to publicly acknowledge the size of the problem. The DCC have strenuously resisted all of our attempts to discover the total ratepayer impact of funding the stadium. They are happy to tell us about the finances of DVML (stadium manager) but the much larger losses of DVL (stadium owner) are not mentioned in their press releases. Another example: DVL’s 2012 Annual Report is now 2 months overdue. As well as the Cone Of Silence around DVL’s losses the DCC staff have failed to make councillors and the public aware of a number of large, direct and indirect stadium subsidies.

      I expect that the total annual cost of their stadium will be about $20 million each year for the next 23 years and only slightly less horrific after that, but lasting indefinitely. The first 23 years will therefore cost us $460 million – a frightening thought that our mayor and councilors don’t want us to think about as we approach an election year. Until we all understand the size of the problem, we are unlikely to solve it.

  23. Peter

    Yes, I thought that was an excellent post by JJ, well worth drawing attention to.

  24. Mike

    I tried linking back to this article in one of my ODT posts today, sadly reality must be too scary and the link was abridged

  25. Calvin Oaten

    Talking about running costs, I believe that the DCC’s costs for providing the city’s street lighting energy is in the order of $1,250,000pa. By contrast I believe the Stadium’s energy costs are around $250,000pa. Keeping that roof inflated is an awfully expensive operation. I bet no-one factored that in, not even the ‘wonder boy’ business consultant Malcolm.

  26. Hype O'Thermia

    Abridged … the first “Both payments stay in Dunedin, both sets of employees stay in employment paying rates, **buying food at the Farmers Market and going to the Fortune,** and so the money-go-round continues here” could have been for length, but the other, omission of the last para, well, COULD it have been for length??

    Superficially it makes sense
    Submitted by Hype.O.Thermia on Thu, 25/10/2012
    Yothmit3 says that “money needs to be saved where ever possible …. if a non-Dunedin firm can provide the required service at a cheaper price, then the DCC by its own financial requirements is obliged to accept it.” At a superficial glance this makes complete sense. A moment’s thought of the implications bring the fallacy of this argument to the fore.
    Every time work and goods are purchased overseas/outside Otago/Dunedin the country/province/city has to send money out to pay for them. The provider is not on the spot (railway wagons, remember?) to fix up any shortfall in quality, so we have little control over what is delivered while still having paid the bill. Sometimes (railway wagons again) we have to pay twice, once for the job to be done, 2nd for fixing what was delivered.
    In Dunedin, for the particular job being discussed now, there is more than one potential provider. This gives us ratepayers, in the form of our elected representatives, leverage. Both will tender as low as feasible to get the job while still being able to do it well because of the embarrassment and reputation damage if they did it badly. But if Firm A does a half-assed job? Well for one thing they are here. And if they cannot or will not bring it up to standard Firm B can be hired to fix it up. Both payments stay in Dunedin, both sets of employees stay in employment paying rates, buying food at the Farmers Market and going to the Fortune, and so the money-go-round continues here. Without work people go on the dole or leave, and both ways the city and its prosperity suffer.
    I contend that it is a smarter investment for the city to spend $1.02 here than send 99 cents away to enrich another country or city and in the process weaken our own business base.
    The “greater transparency” that Greater Dunedin went on about in its campaigning has gone where pre-election carrots go, into the compost heap under a layer of bull manure. If this were not so we would have been entrusted with the tender price put forward from the hopeful companies, along with any “incentives” to “pick me, pick me!” Without that information we can only assume that the contractor chosen in any particular instance is in fact cheaper for the same quality, has as good a reputation in the business, and is overall the best choice for the wellbeing of Dunedin City and its long-suffering ratepayers.

    [ODT Link]

  27. Steve Lewis

    No matter which way you look at it there is no possibility of the stadium ever breaking even. Think of the stadium as a hotel, what is its occupancy? Filling the place 3 or 4 times a year just won’t cut it. How about they begin advertising this great city on TV, even the West Coast is advertising itself on TV. Auckland has a visit Auckland promo going on TV but what does Dunedin have? I understand Dunedin has only $400,000 pa to promote itself, surely this must be a joke? The council can spend a million dollars putting a train in a glass case, spend millions on renovating the settlers museum and yet no money for marketing and promotion. If the council is set to spend millions on infrastructure projects they must invest in promoting this region. Painting big Dunedin signs around the city for locals to admire won’t cut it. Dunedin is a special place, how about the council look to let NZ know just what it has to offer? Our rates went up 5.4% this year, well above inflation, we will continue to pay more and more whilst poorly patronised infrastructure projects continue to languish and bleed millions of ratepayers’ dollars. Promote and attract visitors or they will spend their tourist dollars elsewhere.

    • Elizabeth

      Funny you should say that, Steve.
      But don’t forget DCC gave itself $5M+ to set up its new in-house communications and marketing unit this year [the Spooks]. Bliss!??? um, er, given the rubbish that comes out of it, especially from the cakehole of department head Graeme McKerracher – not really. Then you have the very green (not in a good way) dufus Hamish Saxton at Tourism Dunedin – whose organisation receives a good chunk of money from DCC, in order to promote the proposed $100m waterfront tower hotel. My god we’re pushing that brand now….

      The grotesque ($$$)rocky($$$) gothic show.

  28. Steve Lewis

    Not much point in having the new hotel if Dunedin’s falling Hotel/Motel occupancy rates don’t improve. If the new owners don’t do well they will lower their tariff and put the existing high end hotel owners under real pressure. Other than a handful of occasions a year there is more than enough accommodation in Dunedin to go around. Not keen on the new toaster being built, talk about ugly.

  29. BillyBob

    …dufus, git, charlatan etc, etc. Lots of highly personalised, playing the man, not the ball, on this site. Doesn’t reflect particularly well on the various posters I must say.

  30. Hype O'Thermia

    Article: Rugby: Angry Highlanders fans turn on team
    ” ….”Well it looks like the stadium for the next game may be fairly empty and who could blame the fans,” commented Terrie Parsons.
    We have had seasons tickets for the past 3 years and I can safely say definitely not next year, honestly who wants to pay that amount of money to continually watch our team get dicked each week….” ”

  31. Interesting how the public can turn. It is almost as though the ‘highlanders’ are ‘fifth columnists,’ set upon destroying the punters’ dreams. A very tenuous grip on reality these citizens of ours have who so blindly will ‘fete’ a winning team, yet like quicksilver turn like a pack of dogs at the first sign that their ‘idols’ are just mere mortals. A psychologist could have a field day on this. Doesn’t bode well for the stadium either.

  32. Mike

    Calvin, I’ve been reliably told, by people who claim to know, that a new stadium will solve all their rugby related woes, perhaps it’s time to build another

  33. Hype O'Thermia

    One stadium guarantees fame and fortune, 2 stadia and we’ll all be asking the Sultan of Brunei for how to manage excessive wealth. I don’t have room for any more gold dishes, cutlery and potato mashers so I think we should proceed cautiously.

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