CHRISTCHURCH —This means to see the All Blacks play at home against the best opposition, we have to build a stadium that is almost double the size of what we really need just for one event per annum.
The former chief executive of the council-owned VBase events management operation, now working in the private sector, offers his perspective on the debate about a new stadium for Christchurch.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 08:39 10/05/2013
‘Boutique’ stadium a better option
By Bryan Pearson
I follow the various discussions around stadiums and venues with interest, and thought that the following might help inform that debate. The most recent issue to surface in this debate is about co-location versus integration. If we are simply co-locating other facilities like offices, hotels, and so on, adjacent to the stadium (as shown in the design where there are standalone buildings at each end of the stadium itself) then, while it will add life and activity to the stadium precinct, it will have little if any impact on the stadium business case.
If we are talking about integrated facilities and design which reduce the cost of building the stadium and/or deliver non-event regular income streams for the same cost/investment, then it will improve the stadium business case.
The latter sounds attractive until you start to consider the operational challenges of fully integrated facilities where the 24/7 tenants are effectively displaced on event days. Of course, then there is the issue of supply and demand for commercial office space and accommodation. Already we are seeing large city fringe commercial developments (Victoria St, Lincoln Rd). Then there is the central city where some developments are under way but many developers are already struggling to build the business case due to high costs of construction and soft demand once you get beyond about $400 per square metre.
So where will office space adjacent to the stadium fit in a market which is already showing signs of weakness and over-supply? The reality is the only thing that truly impacts on stadium viability is commercial event days.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr