Ratepayers, another windfall —Fifa under-20 World Cup 2015

Otago Stadium 1

Fifa NZ U20 WC logo [tourismnewzealand.com]### ODT Online Thu, 15 Aug 2013
Dunedin to host FIFA U-20 World Cup games
Dunedin will be a host venue for the biggest football tournament to be held in New Zealand.
Forsyth Barr Stadium will host games in the 2015 Fifa world under-20 tournament, organisers confirmed today. Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei are also hosting games. Read more

Wow. The Spooks have worked overtime on this release, fired by opinion (and even a footnote of purpose) —not, ratepayer budgets.

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Dunedin Confirmed as a Host City for FIFA’s Second Biggest Tournament

This item was published on 15 Aug 2013.

With just under two years until kick off in the first match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, FIFA and the New Zealand Football Local Organising Committee (LOC) have confirmed that Dunedin will play a significant role in the tournament.
Dunedin will host seven matches altogether, including a Round of 16 clash (the round before the quarter finals). All of the games will be played under the roof of Otago Stadium.
The naming of Dunedin as a host city followed a robust selection process where a total of 7 successful cities were named – Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Whangarei, Christchurch and New Plymouth.
Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull is delighted the city will be participating in one of world football’s premier events.

“This is a wonderful outcome for the city and will be a great opportunity to showcase Dunedin to players, officials and supporters. Hosting 2011 Rugby World Cup matches in Dunedin means we are well equipped to deal with another high-profile international event. We can build on what we learnt hosting RWC matches and will be working closely with Football South and other stakeholders to ensure we get the maximum effect from the event and give visitors to the city a fantastic welcome.”

Mr Cull says the city has negotiated excellent value for the ratepayers with FIFA although the terms of the arrangement will remain confidential at this time.

“Due to the considerable work done by staff, we are confident it is a sound investment.”

Darren Burden, CEO, Dunedin Venues, the company which operates Otago Stadium, is thrilled Dunedin will feature in the tournament.

“Our Stadium is an ideal football venue for players and spectators alike and, with the internationally significant scale of this event, it’s a privilege to host top class football under the roof. This announcement reinforces the importance of having an outstanding venue as a draw card to host international sporting events. I think we’re all in for a sporting spectacular in 2015.”

As for Rugby World Cup 2011, Dunedin’s Stadium will be known as Otago Stadium for the lead up to and duration of the tournament to meet FIFA’s clean sponsorship rules.
Matthew Holdridge, Chair of the FootballSouth Board, says, “On behalf of all the players, supporters, and administrators in the FootballSouth region, I would like to express our delight at the fantastic news Dunedin will host seven matches at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“This is a major event for our Football Federation, one that, if we missed, may not have come around again in our lifetime. I know our football community is keen to be part of this event. FootballSouth will be working closely with FIFA and the Local Organising Committee to ensure our 7,800 affiliated football members and the wider community gets as many opportunities as possible to engage with the event and the teams playing at Otago Stadium.”

Dave Beeche, CEO FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015, is full of praise for all of the cities that were involved in the bidding process and feels that having access to a covered stadium adds significantly to the tournament.

“We’d like to thank all of the cities that put in a bid to host matches for their work over the last year to get to this point. The feedback from FIFA was very positive following the recent site inspection tour and they are looking forward to a highly successful tournament in 2015. With the tournament being played during the winter, it’s fantastic to have a full covered stadium as it means we’ll have ideal pitch conditions and visitors will have another good reason to head south. The FIFA delegates were very impressed with Otago Stadium and see the roof as a major benefit given the timing of the tournament. To have seven stunning venues locked in nearly two years out from the first match gives us a great planning timeframe and we’ll use all of it to ensure that a standout event is delivered. This tournament has a huge global following and that’s the opportunity we have with this event – to deliver exposure for New Zealand and host regions, both directly during the tournament and via a massive international television audience. With the world’s best footballing talent on display and stadiums full of colour, noise, and atmosphere, it will be a new experience for New Zealand that everyone will want to be a part of.”

Altogether the tournament will host 24 national teams, include 52 matches, and will run for three weeks from 30 May until 20 June 2015. This is during the local football season, which will provide a great opportunity for the sport’s large youth playing base to be inspired by the world’s best players. With an average of three goals scored per game in the last three FIFA U-20 World Cup tournaments this will be dynamic, exciting football at its best.
The tournament will be broadcast to more than 100 countries and a global television audience of more than 170 million people[1], providing exposure for the tournament, the host cities, and New Zealand on a massive scale. It is estimated more than 7,000 overseas fans will pour into New Zealand for the tournament and to support their teams.

FIFA Factsheet (PDF, 188.2 KB)

[1] Based on the FIFA U-20 World Cup Columbia 2011 Television Audience Report produced for FIFA TV by KantraSport

Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 477 4000.

DCC Link

Related Posts and Comments:
25.10.12 Council bid lacks cost/benefit analysis: Fifa under-20 World Cup 2015
7.12.11 D Scene: Cull and councillors captured by Fifa bid, it will cost

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: tourismnewzealand.com – NZ U20 WC logo


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Events, Geography, Hot air, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Tourism, What stadium

82 responses to “Ratepayers, another windfall —Fifa under-20 World Cup 2015

  1. Mike

    I’m not sure that the ratepayers paying and someone else benefiting is ever “excellent value for the ratepayers”

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Mike, didn’t you know a change is as good as a holiday? Paying for football is a change from paying for rugby, and a lot of people in Dunedin struggle to afford a holiday so they’ll benefit bigtime……. as usual.

  3. Peter

    Once again, if it was such a good deal they’d say how and shout it from the rooftops. The ‘we’ll tell you how later’ is crap.

    • ### ch9.co.nz August 15, 2013 – 6:42pm
      Dunedin scores major footballing coup
      Dunedin has scored a major footballing coup, with an announcement late this afternoon the city will host seven Fifa under-20 World Cup games. Details for the 2015 event are sparse – including what any ratepayer component of attracting the games may be. But both the city and FootballSouth say the benefits are many.

  4. Mike

    So who paid for Cull to go to Auckland for the announcement? – he wouldn’t have gone if the announcement was to be “nothing is happening in Dunedin” so he must have already known the result – did the ratepayers just pay for an election year photo-op?

  5. I think this is potentially very good for the city (but cost is always a potential downside?)

    Timing is just fortuitous for an incumbent mayor, but it’s fair enough querying the cost of a flight to Auckland, I can’t see any benefit to the city for that.

    • I think this is potentially very good for the city (but cost is always a potential downside?)

      Pete, disagree. There is no upside to any event held at the stadium because of the ratepayer subsidies involved. The council is living beyond its means and has fallen, again, for the male sport hoop-la. Where is the cost-benefit analysis, we asked for that when it the idea was first mooted. You will never see one, or one that is honestly stated, that’s for sure.

      Another reason to vote Cull and his followers OUT.

      • But we have to use it for something and generate some income, or it will cost even more.

        • But we have to use it for something and generate some income, or it will cost even more.

          Pete, sorry no vote from me.

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Aug 2013
          World Cup a wonderful result: Cull
          By Chris Morris
          The beautiful game and some of its best young players are coming to Dunedin, with confirmation Forsyth Barr Stadium will host seven matches during the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup. The announcement of the seven cities – including Dunedin – to share hosting rights for the 24-team, 52-match football tournament came at a ceremony fronted by Prime Minister John Key in Auckland yesterday. And Dunedin’s share of the global spotlight was unveiled at a ceremony at Forsyth Barr Stadium shortly afterwards by deputy mayor Chris Staynes, stadium staff and Football South officials.

          …the council and DVML had managed to reach a more favourable cost-sharing deal with tournament organisers since baulking at a possible $1 million bill.

          Yesterday, Mr Cull confirmed the new deal would cost ratepayers $150,000, while another $160,000 in non-cash council costs – such as staff time for road closures – would come from existing council budgets. Dunedin Venues Management Ltd – which lost about $300,000 from hosting 2011 Rugby World Cup games – would also at least break even on the 2015 Fifa games, chief executive Darren Burden said. The company’s share of the deal would see it reimbursed for all tournament-related costs by Fifa, as well as receiving a venue hire fee, he said.
          Read more

        • On that? It shouldn’t be what my opinion is that matters, it’s how I’d deal with it, and that would be properly guaging the city’s opinion after providing the facts and debating it.

          We can all have our own opinions, but enabling better democratic process is the key. I say what I think (and at this stage on the stadium In don’t have all the facts), but I’ll act for the majority. You first have to have a means of measuring opinion.

        • Pete – use your own website.

        • Comment received by email.

          Hype O’Thermia
          Friday, 16 August 2013 11:30 a.m.

          Pete, the idea that holding more events in the FUBAR stadium == more income has been demonstrated to be false, yet it lives on even among non-knuckledraggers such as yourself. Check the figures, not easy I know but some relentless people have managed to pry them out of the Chamber of Secrets, you’ll find them here, just ask for links to the posts.

  6. Peter

    So we just get pool- type games? Not even a quarter final? Those fans, from elsewhere, who do come down south will be in and out of Dunedin like a shot to follow the major games elsewhere.
    Have you got your calculator out yet, Mike?

  7. Looks like the usual #fail by dcc.

  8. Mike

    No – so long as DVML loses money (taking into account all the ratepayer subsidies – like the rates subsidy, the events fund, etc etc) on its year to year operations we lose less money if we close it and lay off all of DVML than if we keep it open.

    However I think the right thing to do is for a mayor to use his/her bully pulpit and use the threat of closing to renegotiate a deal with rugby that doesn’t require ratepayer ongoing subsidies – and be true to their brinksmanship, actually close it and save money until a deal can be struck

  9. Russell Garbutt

    Peter George – your position on the stadium is easily proven to be unsupported by the figures. Think about it this way. You own a shop that is losing money hand over fist to keep it open. Your position is that every sale, no matter how small is better than nothing. The problem is that the costs of keeping the shop open are much greater than any income.

    Most shop owners would simply close the shop and cut their losses.

    We, as ratepayers still own the debt of construction, but we don’t need to also own the operational losses. Financially, it actually would pay to shut the place, but the incompetents amongst us that defrauded and deceived the ratepayers would lose a lot of face. So, maybe you should use some rational argument instead of saying something simplistic that has no value.

  10. Russell you are of course dead right. The stadium needs to be shut down and never used again. This way the millions of dollars to keep it mothballed can be just poured down the drain!

    Meanwhile back in reality land, this is a fantastic announcement for the city. The stadium will most likely NOT loose out, as they charge FIFA for the hire etc of the stadium. The gate takings (not massive) will go to FIFA, but the exposure on the world’s stage to potential tourists is massive. This is the 2nd biggest footballing event in the world, and watched by more people globally than that oval ball sport we play in NZ.

    Or we could have said, nah thanks, rest of NZ you have this wonderful tournament, the tens of thousands of kids in Dunedin/Otago who play football can miss out.

    You miserable sods, please for the love of god, don’t come anywhere near this event, as my kids don’t need grumbling old farts ruining what is going to be the biggest sporting event relevant to them in their life time.

  11. Peter

    Russell. Good shop analogy.
    Paul. ‘Reality land’ actually means that if you are going broke, or bankrupt, with something, something has to eventually give, despite the best will in the world to keep going….for the kids. Ask Bill Acklin. Throwing more money onto a financial bonfire doesn’t make sense.
    The kids can still watch soccer, elsewhere, on TV, like most people, and we smartly get others to pay for staging the event. You don’t need to move out of the lounge room to watch sport, especially if you shout yourself a large wide screen TV.
    BTW. Many adults are seen as ‘grumbling old farts’ by kids. What’s new? Yours are probably sick of you grumbling about the ‘stadium haters’.

  12. Awesome, so we have one of the best stadiums in New Zealand and the answer to the public/kids of Dunedin is watch it on TV from somewhere else in the country.

    Brilliant bloody brilliant.

    Please don’t tell me someone here has mentioned Detroit, i won’t know whether to bang my head against a wall or cry.

    {It’s OK Paul, I mentioned Detroit months ago. -Elizabeth}

  13. Peter

    Yep. That’s the answer. How about Detroit? Would a brand new stadium save it from its decline?
    One of the best stadiums in NZ? Subjective view. Try telling that to the vast majority of rugby players/followers who live elsewhere and who get all sentimental about their own parochial, ‘hallowed turf’ bullshit. (Remember all the carry on about dear Carisbrook? Remember the puke-making sentimentality when they airlifted, by helicopter, some of the ‘hallowed turf’ to Awatea St?)

  14. “One of the best stadiums in NZ? Subjective view.” No it’s not, nearly every person associated with sports and entertainment in NZ is unequivocal in their praise of the stadium.

    You obviously haven’t heard the unwavering praise heaped on the stadium by sports and event fans from all around the country every time they leave the stadium.

    Hey I get it, you don’t like sport. You don’t get the emotional or other value of sport, that’s fine. But I don’t get all smart arsed about opening of arts events.

    Sport has real emotion and meaning to people, every single bit as real and emotional as sitting through RNZ Ballet’s Giselle or the NZSO’s Mozart season, or even the opening of a new play at Fortune theatre. If you don’t get it, that’s fine, just don’t belittle that experience for the rest of us.

    • It’s not about sport, it’s the money ‘Stupid’. If technically bankrupting a city in the interests of sport then I am sorry, I just don’t get it. Use the stadium by all means, the bloody thing is there so you might as well. But come the day when it all turns to custard, what price sport then? Sorry Paul but the format has, and is being repeated ad nauseum arund the planet with similar results. But hey! the kids’ll love it. Big and small.

  15. Russell Garbutt

    Your vitriol is alarming – Paul, I can tell you I love sport, have participated, and still participate in sport, but it has all been amateur and we pay our own way. What you obviously don’t appreciate is that professional sport is not “sport”, but part of the entertainment industry. You, and many others, buy tickets to go and watch professional sport and that is fine. Others choose to buy a ticket to watch a concert or a play. The difference is, and hopefully you understand this, is that on one hand places like the Regent are run and financed by a Trust that has a huge band of hardworking volunteers all running on the smell of an oily rag and relying on the users to meet the costs.

    On the other, the stadium was built for professional rugby at a huge cost and just as great on-going cost with no hope of running at a profit or break even because the main users simply live beyond their means and won’t pay what should be a going rate. In the real world, professional rugby would cut the pay rates of players, charge a great deal more for entrance fees and live within their means. But they don’t and expect the rest of us to subsidise their business. I for one, am opposed to that attitude.

    I have no particular views on the U-20 pool games for the Soccer World cup, and have to say that I admire the skills of these young people, but we as a City couldn’t afford to build a stadium for these infrequent tournaments, nor could we afford to build it for a business like the ORFU who have consistently shown over many years that they can’t exist without getting into shonky deals with pokie trusts and going belly up when owing the ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    So, Paul, up to you. You can decide whether you continue to be happy knowing that operationally the city is facing annual multimillion dollar losses. Maybe when the place needs maintenance – I hope you do know that the maintenance budget was canned – you will be happy to stump up some “unforeseen costs” as well. The decision to build was wrong, has proved to be wrong – the only real decision now is to put it to the people on what to do with the place. The simple shopkeeper in my analogy above would not pause for a moment.

    • Unless one is very wealthy, when one wants to build or buy something new, they have to undertake a mortgage. This mortgage is on the balance sheet classed as debt, while in the same time the asset is classed as an asset. One cannot go into mortgage without going into debt. The simple fact of the matter is we had to go into debt to build this stadium. The debt is placed on the accounting sheets for x amount of years and then it is eventually paid off. This is what is happening here. What is so hard to fathom about this concept. Yes we have debt, yes we have large debt, but yes also this debt will be paid off.

      As for the vitriol, fine for Pete to dish it out eh and you guys not take it. Fine play that way.

      Also, until you stop with the ‘built for rugby’ analogy, all arguments are invalid.

  16. Bev Butler

    Hi Paul,
    I think those that object to the stadium do so for reasons other than being opposed to sport. I, for one, have always supported children playing sport. It is an important part of kids development. However, the stadium is not about kids playing sport. It is about people watching sport and the stadium is a very good venue for watching sport especially rugby.
    However, this is not what the stadium debate has been about. The debate has always been about the affordability of the stadium and how it was forced on to the community against their wishes. The debate is also about the lies the community were told from start to finish and the community now wanting to hold those responsible for these lies to account. The debate is also about where the money actually ended up.
    Much of what occurred is still not yet in the public arena.

  17. Sorry Bev if I mistook Peter’s utter contempt for sport as anything other than that then.

    There are countless peer reviewed articles linking participation in sport to access to watching sport. The link between participation and sport is even greater when that is done in person. For this alone the stadium is valuable. I do hope someone is doing the before and after participation research, would be fascinating, across a range of events & sports.

    I fully appreciate what the stadium debate has been about, every hour of the day Elizabeth & I get emails asking us to approve the comments on this blog.

    I also fully appreciate that there was a large number in the community that opposed the stadium for whatever reason. And I will never stand in the way of people finding the truth about public money and accountability.

    What I can’t fathom (and I’m not alone on this) is the wanting to close the thing down. Lock the doors and do nothing with the place. I’ve even heard suggestions to pull it down and send it to ChCh.

    How could mothballing or indeed dismantling the stadium be anything other than complete insanity. What are we left with. Hundreds of millions of dollars of debt and no way to pay it back?

  18. if only your comment were true Calvin. For every ‘unsuccessful stadium’ I can show you successful stadiums. Remember back to the very first STS meeting. I went along with note pad. I remember one ‘learned’ academic telling us the story of woe about Toronto’s Rogers Centre, how it cost x dollars more, how it had gone bust etc, Dunedin be aware. The funny thing about modern life, mobile Internet. While he was rabbiting on about the demise of Rogers Centre, i was able to google search it, and discover that (contrary to what he was saying) the stadium was in fact multi-purpose, it had in fact hosted concerts and conferences and what do you know, it was also now profitable. The learned academic seemed to only want to tell the part of the story up to a certain time that suited the doom and gloom about beset Dunedin. Would have been a right bummer to tell all gathered that Rogers Centre was in fact by this time profitable.

    Technically bankrupt? Sorry have I missed a memo or an ODT front page scoop? Oh that’s right Dunedin isn’t ‘technically’ or any other form of bankrupt.

  19. Bev Butler

    Hi Paul,
    I accept your argument about the linking of participating in sports and access to watching sports. I do have to reiterate that this is not what the debate has been and still is about. The stadium debate is about the affordability of building the stadium predominantly with public money. Only $700,000 of private money has been used for construction – not the $45 million the community and the courts were told. A community does not have to spend over $260 million to have access to watching sports.
    Time will tell whether the stadium continues to remain open or is mothballed through necessity. The first step in making this decision is for the Council to do a cost-benefit analysis as I suggested in my submission a couple of years ago. Part of the so-called $188 million was meant to also include a $6.4 million maintenance fund. This never happened, so no money has been set aside for maintenance. There is no money for maintenance. Nor is there sufficient money for operating costs – even the so called ‘private funding’ (ie revenue) doesn’t cover the operating costs – that is why the stadium is running at a multi-million dollar yearly operating loss. What will happen when maintenance bills come in will be interesting to see.

  20. Paul, to draw comparision between Dunedin’s 100 to 120,000 population against a $260million stadium, and Toronto’s population and stadium cost (I guess you know these stats) is not really a chalk and cheese exercise. It was never an ‘anti stadium’ argument, but simply an affordability exercise which comes up woefully short with the predicament the city now finds itself in. Financially hamstrung would be the best description. You claim, rightfully that the debt will in the fullness of time be paid off. Your children will eventually attest to that. You, of course may not live to see it happen. Meanwhile think of all the other -non sport- lost opportunities to the city because of it. It just seems a tad unbalanced and selfish.

  21. Russell Garbutt

    Paul, I can tell you that I attended a meeting in Malcolm Farry’s office many many years ago when he revealed what he wanted to build. This was in my role of Chair of Sport Otago. Two things I learned at that meeting were that “nudge, nudge, wink wink, the $2m debt of the ORFU to the DCC was “going to be written off”, and that he hadn’t got a clue as to who else might use what he clearly viewed as a rugby stadium.

    I also attended a meeting, and I know this was repeated on radio, when Malcolm Farry told everyone that it “wasn’t a stadium, it was a University facility”. The company then employed by Farry to come up with the potential uses of the stadium, came up with the World Swimming Champs, Dalai Lama visits and speedway racing before they got fired and the City had to pay them out.

    In short, no-one should be at all deceived – not the least you – by pretending this is something that it isn’t just because Malcolm Farry told you otherwise. It is a rugby stadium first and foremost for professional rugby that happens to be used infrequently for other things. I’m not going to argue about how successfully it is used. How often is there for everyone including yourself to see.

    What I say, and I have every right to say it as a ratepayer, is that I want ALL options explored including mothballing it, demolishing it, or continuing to operate it explored by people I can trust. What I demand however, is accountability of those that have used deceit or fraud to have it built in the first place.

    Lastly, I suggest you ask some of the people at PhysEd about the links of participation and watching pro sport. If this city had invested the best part of half a billion dollars into community amateur sporting facilities and the infrastructure to get young and old people into active sport we would be the healthiest city in NZ. But it would have taken 10% of that to make a true difference.

    • Certainly valuable to work through these comments today, as fodder/prompts for examination of candidates in the weeks ahead – how much do they understand of the council’s position (and the companies) – in terms of policy, politics and finance.

      Everyone has to be rigorous, no dreamers please. What is good governance ?

  22. Toronto Population 2.7 million! Say no more.

  23. Peter

    Paul. Not sure how you can get the impression I have a contempt for sport. I don’t. I only have contempt for the crap that comes up with one particular sport – namely rugby – with its belief we should throw whatever it takes, in terms of public money, at it. Because it is ‘The National Game’.
    I also have a contempt for the large number of boofheads who seem to frequent that sport and their neanderthal behaviour on and off the field. Too many rugby players are poor role models for our youth.

    • ### ch9.co.nz August 16, 2013 – 6:41pm
      Nightly interview: Matthew Holdridge
      Dunedin football was in celebration mode yesterday, after the city scored a major coup with an announcement it will host seven Fifa under-20 World Cup games. Footballsouth representatives were at the announcement, and chairman Matthew Holdridge joins us with his reaction, 24 hours after the news hit.


      ### ch9.co.nz August 16, 2013 – 6:27pm
      World Cup at third of original cost
      Dunedin’s mayor has confirmed the city managed to attract the 2015 Fifa under 20 World Cup at about a third of the original expected cost. City representatives yesterday announced Forsyth Barr Stadium – renamed the Otago Stadium for the cup – would host seven matches of the 24 nation event. They would not reveal the cost to ratepayers of hosting a tournament the city initially backed away from because of a possible $1m cost. But Mayor Dave Cull confirmed the costs to the DCC were $150,000 of new spending and $160,000 from existing budgets.
      Ch39 Link [No video available]

  24. Paul: Sorry to rain on your parade but I have just researched the Toronto Rogers ‘Sky Dome’ Stadium. It was opened in 1989 at a cost of $913m (2013 dollars). It became a thorn in the side of the Ontario government because of its overspending (sound familiar).
    A change of government in 1990 and it was reviewed and found to be so indebted that it would need to be booked 600 days per year to turn a profit. It made $17m in its first year and debt costs were $40m.
    The debt grew from $165m to $400m by 1993. It became the government’s huge liability as the economy soured. So did public support for the “White Elephant”. In March 1994 the government paid off all debt owing and it was sold to a private consortium for $151m.
    In November 1998 the stadium filed for bankruptcy protection.
    In late 1998 Sportsco Int. bought the stadium out of bankruptcy for $85m.
    So there you are Paul, that was with a population base of 2.7 million people against 111-118 thousand here, 23 times the support base. Their cost $918m, ours $260m, 3.5 times.
    Finally sold for $85m, just 9.5% of original cost. On that basis ours is worth around $25 million. And frankly that sounds about right.
    Watch this space, it might take a year or three but we will get there sooner or later. The big question is, at what cost?

  25. Postscript Paul: 2005 Rogers Communications, parent of ‘Blue Jays’ sports team acquired Rogers Stadium for about $25 million – about 4% of construction cost. If it is not profitable now it never will be.

    • ### ODT Online Sat, 17 Aug 2013
      Editorial: A ‘beautiful’ result
      The news Dunedin will host seven of the matches in the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup is fantastic for football and sporting fans alike – and a timely boost for the city. Prime Minister John Key announced on Thursday the cities to share hosting rights for the 24-team, 52-match football tournament, and Dunedin deputy mayor Chris Staynes, Forsyth Barr Stadium staff and Football South officials later outlined this city’s allocation – six group games and one second-round match.

      The announcement is certainly a welcome boost to the region’s Stand Up Otago call being led by this newspaper.

      The council and Dunedin Venues Management Ltd have reportedly reached a better deal with tournament organisers. This will still cost ratepayers $150,000 (and $160,000 in non-cash council costs is to come from existing budgets), but, given the exposure and potential earnings to the city through visitors during games and further tourism spinoffs down the line, could be considered reasonable.
      Read more

      Note: Eion Edgar has kicked in $15,000 to Football South’s fundraiser (see last night’s Channel 39 News interview with Football South board chairman Matthew Holdridge).

      • ### ODT Online Fri, 23 Aug 2013
        Fifa ‘excited’ about city’s role in tournament
        By Chris Morris
        Football fans are in for a treat when 24 teams and thousands of fans descend on New Zealand for the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup, local organising committee chief executive Dave Beeche says. And the role to be played by Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium – to be renamed Otago Stadium for the event – already had Fifa representatives excited, Mr Beeche said yesterday.

        ”You’ve got one of the best stadiums in the southern hemisphere … Fifa are very excited about bringing the tournament here.”

        Dunedin would host seven of the tournament’s 52 matches, including six group games and a ”pool of 16” match, although the draw would not be known until January 2015. Fifa would send about 150 staff to New Zealand for the tournament, and up to 1500 volunteers would be recruited to help, including about 100-200 in Dunedin.
        Read more

  26. Priceless! Valueless more like. I know that this is a big deal for ’round ball’ adherents, but from observations it seems that they are relatively thin on the ground. But it would be churlish not to applaud the fact that this tournament will be present in Dunedin. Good on it, but please spare me from the euphoric ‘crap’ about ‘global exposure’ and the resulting spin off with tourists lining up to come to Dunedin because of it. Next we will be told of the expected numbers and the economic benefits spilling out all round Dunedin. I don’t know about others, but when I watch on telly a large sporting event on the world stage, be it soccer, rugby, golf, basketball, rugby league or whatever, even the Olympic Games, I am never overcome with the desire that I just simply have to go to that city, country or whatever to see and experience it for myself. I’ve just watched a game for goodness sake. Is it worth the citizens $310,000? I don’t know, perhaps, but will the stadium become a success because of it? No it won’t. Why? Because it is based on a flawed economic model and nothing can ever change that. The costs are wrong, the population base is wrong the useage factors are wrong. Just look at my investigation of the Toronto Rogers Stadium that Paul waxed enthusiastically about and you can see that our stadium is on the same trajectory. Nothing can ever change that, so bring on all the events we can (Chris Staynes at least is fooled, but then that in itself is no criteria) but don’t ever be deceived into believing that it will save the situation.

    • Always sad to watch the lemmings go over the cliff that Cull engineers, Calvin – all the false multipliers are being trotted out again, this time to feed pre-election fever. Council’s “new spending” for the U-20 will, of course, be much larger than chalked in the publicity. Hell, RWC 2011 is the measure, and how much of that cost to the City went fully undisclosed?! At least this time Football South is putting an onus squarely on clubs in Otago Southland to fundraise for the tournament, not easy in this climate – Eion Edgar will need to spit out more than his initial $15K. Besides, he still owes the $1 million donation to DCC, that was pledged to stadium construction but NOT PAID.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    Calvin, couldn’t agree more. You watch a match, your most likely wish is to watch another match, in person if you watched it on TV perhaps. Hardly likely reaction is “That place where the match was played, I have to go there some time when there’s none of my favourite sports happening.”

  28. amanda

    Interesting to see which businesses buy Cull and mates trickle Down con. His promise that if they just wait long enough, are patient, smile and don’t complain, some funds will eventually fall into their outstretched hands. Cull offers nothing but more ‘trust me’s’. Sad but predictable. Keep waiting and hoping.

  29. amanda

    Keep on waiting, hoping and smilng folks who think Cull has any answers with this further spend to ‘make the stadium work’. Keep the faith for Cull, stakeholders and the COC. They have shown they are the problem, they can’t help us.

  30. amanda

    Oh and the ODT too. Must not forget that most important part of the whole machine in this town that keeps the gormless in power.

  31. Hype O'Thermia

    Comes a point where there are things that can’t be pushed uphill even with a bunch of sharp knighthoods.

  32. amanda

    How much more front page coverage for Cull the Gormless in Smith’s paper? Let’s take note, it will be fun.

  33. Que? Is the Stadium the sole venue? There was talk of Argentina, playing Tonga Park. Dont cry for me, Pahiatua.

  34. Phil

    Quite right, Calvin. How many television matches featuring the All Blacks overseas pay any attention to the town in which the game is being played ? If New Zealand broadcasters aren’t interested in doing that, what makes anyone think that overseas broadcasters are going to waste expensive satellite time showing a one hour Dunedin tourism movie prior to the match ? It’s beyond wishful thinking that anyone is drawn to a location because of a football match. I wonder by how much the influx of NZ tourists into Bursa, Turkey, increased as a result of the U20 team playing a game against Croatia there (to which a grand total of 3,000 turned up at the ground, by the way) in the last U20 football World Cup ? I’m thinking of a number.

  35. Rob Hamlin

    My word, I think that McPravda must finally be turning against the rugby community. The cruel and unusual punishment handed out to the young captain of this team today cannot really be explained any other way.

    Those who purchased a hard copy of McPravda this morning will know what I mean, the absolutely toe curling letter supposedly written to him by his father that occupied half the front page written in bogus handwriting on a fake piece of notepaper. For those who didn’t see it – Here it is:

    “Dear Paul,

    Last Friday was one of the greatest nights of my life.
    Surrounded by blokes I’ve known for a long time through rugby, I got to watch you and the boys win the Ranfurly Shield.

    It was great when you rang me after the game. It was a very special moment, although our conversation is a blur. I was choking on some words. And I don’t mind admitting there were a few tears.

    It was very emotional at the airport the next day. I actually had to take a walk for a little bit.

    I could never have dreamed that this would happen.

    Just to play for Otago is a great honour. To have my son as the captain, holding up the Ranfurly Shield after all these years, is unbelievable.

    Our family has been in the Balclutha area for generations. I’ve been involved with rugby for 40-50 years. Your grandfather won the shield with Otago, and your great-uncle played for Otago when they lost the shield in 1957.

    You and I both know what this Ranfurly Shield means to this province.

    I have so many memories of you playing rugby, Paul. You started aged 4 with your older brother, for the Clutha club, and you were always a keen and talented player.

    You were reasonably quiet on the paddock but often found your way to the tryline, and it was a great thrill when you were given the captaincy of various teams.

    We’ll all be there to see you and the team defend the shield against Hawkes Bay tomorrow.

    We had our season tickets anyway, but this will be extra special.

    The hard work will start again, because holding onto the shield will not be easy.

    Forget about the party and get your head back in the game. No doubt Browny has been pushing that message.

    I love watching you play for Otago. We’re all very proud of you.



    It is interesting to muse on the provenance of this communication, the source of first initiative and the route by which it ended up on the front page of McPravda for all to see. Some passages (e.g. the family biopic) seem very odd for a father to son communication – As does the choice not to use the mail for so personal a missive. In fact some bits (e.g. ‘Browny’) read a bit like an ORFU cliché (sorry press) release.

    I am now 52. But I was once an accomplished sportsman in my early twenties. Having a letter like this purportedly form my father published on the front page of the local paper before a major event would have been the stuff of my darkest nightmares. My team mates would have crucified me at the time, and I would never have been free of it in public house banter thereafter. Public attitudes have changed in the last thirty years or so I suppose, but in my opinion it marks a new front-page low, even for McPravda, who have plumbed the depths on occasion in the last few years.

    Personally I feel embarrassed for both of them.

    • Rob! Read your comment in an unguarded moment when at New World, already with tree version in my shopping trolley (folded, unread) – OMG.

      I wondered whether I should return the ODT to the stand before purchase – a morbid curiosity has now overtaken me, and here it is in my possession, THE LETTER…

      THAT’S MY BOY” is the subeditorial plot to sell copy.
      Crap! Is this what ODT has finally sunk to in the mud pit?! Answer: One Holy, YES.

      There it is, against the insignificant (??) narrow column at page right saying ‘Council signals traffic changes’, AND the lowly but perturbing ‘Thomas, family reinterviewed over Crewe murders’ at page bottom.

      Speechless. Rob, you scared me by your report online, and now, with print matter in hand… Appalled, doublefold!!

      If ever a need to ‘finish’ the ODT and all who staff and manage her, this is it!!! The grand ‘moment’ of TRITE from Sir J has happened – as most certainly, YES it’s time to stiff the newspaper fully. Please, someone! anyone! – deliver to ODT the coup de grâce. And take Sir and Murray and Phil with it. [do not miss]

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    Good lord, it’s like having to skull a pint of liquid saccharine.


    • Remember how hardout rugby supporters used to mock and deride the celebratory tears and gratuitous onfield homo-erotic(?) kisses, hugs and gropes of highly paid world “soccer” stars. Hmmm, looks like the local rugger lads have gotten real soft… bloody girls, the lot of them.

  37. Peter

    Yeah, times have changed, Elizabeth, but as long as they don’t cry like girls. Never, never put your head into the bosom of a woman and sob, wipe away the tears and snot with the back of your hand (never a tissue) and wipe on your clothing and if, as a man, you offer another man comfort give a quick, manly hug with heavy- duty back slapping at the same time. Then pull away abruptly.
    If they follow these conventions most men should be right and others won’t get funny ideas.

  38. Peter

    Yep, get behind Otago rugby, and help us pay off your debts.

  39. Hype O'Thermia

    Wasn’t that what they call a Nine Days Wonder?

  40. Mike

    It’s been pretty obvious all week that the ODT has been hurrying to get as much out of the shield as they could while it was still around – it was a smart business decision.

  41. Peter

    Doesn’t it make all the hype so embarrassing. All very much overplayed – thanks ODT – instead of quietly, diligently and stoically letting the team just get on with it. It’s like those parents at Saturday morning rugby matches yelling their advice, abuse and/or encouragement from the sidelines. So little dignity, in the end, for players and watchers alike.
    I wonder how long it will be for last week’s heroes to be castigated for their efforts by the experts out there. They lost by only one point… as much as the All Blacks only won by one point at the RWC. How close Graham Henry was from not being knighted.

  42. What a ‘Bugger’! This was supposed to be the great turn around for the ORFU. It was going to put right its finances and now it has all turned to ‘custard’. The crowds will dissipate and the stadium will languish as before. The ODT built up the expectations to a level that has been proven to be a great illusion. And all for ‘one point’, Oh well, as the saying goes, ‘one swallow does not a Summer make’. Good on the Otago team anyway, they are the innocent victims of all this ‘hullabaloo’ and ought to be left alone.

  43. Peter

    Talk about visiting your own comeuppance with all this hype. Makes the cheerleaders look so foolish now.
    It’s about time good sportsmanship was shown in sport generally. The spectacle of sportsmen gloatingly punching the air/pulling a punch or climbing all over each other is pretty over the top…….and undignified.

  44. Elizabeth

    Having heard the dull presentation by Football South at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on Monday – one question: why does this code need DCC help and why should it get any if other codes MUST miss out. The answer lies in the personage of Terence, used car salesman needing to show ALTERNATIVE USES of his rugby stadium, to fill up the empty events calendar. I hate begging displays at DCC.

    ###dunedintv.co.nz November 25, 2014 – 6:46pm
    Costs rise for the FIFA U20 World Cup
    The bill for hosting next year’s FIFA U20 World Cup is rising for the Dunedin City Council. Already the council’s allocated $150,000 towards hosting the international sporting event. But a disappointing fundraising result means the council’s now being asked to contribute more.

    Report – Council – 24/11/2014 (PDF, 75.2 KB)
    FIFA U20 Financial Underwrite

    • There’s only one sensible way to allocate money for these things, and that is to earmark their $150,000 and announce that they will match fundraising dollar-for-dollar up to that amount.

      When someone else announces their readiness to pay, from the get-go, all pressure goes off those who would otherwise donate and fund-raise. They calculate with wisdom gained by observation over a long period that when a body (council, government…) has made its first payment it is committed, otherwise it has to admit publicly that it chucked rates/tax money at something that didn’t happen. After that there are awkward questions about where the money went, why isn’t it given back, precisely who made the decision to hand it over etc etc and the whole thing gets well embarrassing. Add to that, the event that the public was looking forward to is cancelled. Ooh nasty, just hand over some more money and make the criticism go away!

  45. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Nov 2014
    DCC underwrites U20 tournament
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council will honour its pledge to underwrite part of the cost of hosting matches during next year’s Fifa Under-20 World Cup tournament. The decision was confirmed by councillors at Monday’s council meeting, meaning the council would pay an extra $20,000 to cover a shortfall in funds gathered by Football South.
    Read more

    • Wow, “the council would pay an extra $20,000 to cover a shortfall in funds gathered by Football South”. Is somebody surprised? Anybody?

      Football South and those of us who haven’t been in a coma the past 20 years know how the Nigerian scam works. Get the mug to make one payment “for bank certificate” and you’ve hooked them. Next “little” request before the $millions are transferred into your account – lucky you! – is for a government permit to file the certificate…. and so on, and the poor mug keeps on thinking, I’ve paid so much, I’d be crazy not to pay this one last amount so they can access the $$millions for me!
      Just one more payment, whoopee!

  46. What’s the problem? Money it ain’t, councils got oodles of the stuff. Do we expect it to be an old ‘scrooge’ when it comes to handing the stuff around? Surely not, that’s what councils are for isn’t it? They take money from its citizens and simply drop it from helicopters, much like a lolly scramble, except when they do that there is always untold economic benefits that will flow to the city for all to partake of. Rejoice and be happy.

  47. Elizabeth

    It will always be foobar or fubar / F.U.B.A.R. to us.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 10 Feb 2015
    Dunedin’s Fifa under-20 World Cup games announced
    By Robert van Royen
    Mexico, Uruguay, Serbia and an African qualifier have been pitted against each other in Group D, and will play their group games at the renamed Otago Stadium. Dunedin will also host Group C’s Columbia v Portugal match, and a round of 16 match.
    The tournament runs from May 31 to June 20.
    Read more

  48. Elizabeth

    Classic timing for Dunedin, ahoy.

    ### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 19:12, May 27 2015
    Fifa arrests part of US Justice Department corruption probe
    Source: Reuters
    Six football officials, including some high-ranking members of world governing-body Fifa, were arrested by Swiss police on Wednesday and detained pending extradition to the United States. The arrests were made shortly after a dawn (local time) at a Zurich hotel where officials are staying ahead of this week’s Fifa presidential election. The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) released a statement saying the six officials, who were not formally named, were suspected by US investigators of having received or paid bribes totaling millions of dollars. The FOJ also confirmed that FIFA president Sepp Blatter was not among those arrested.

    “The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kickbacks between the early 1990s and the present day,” the statement said. “The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports prom otion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of Fifa and other functionaries of Fifa sub-organisations — totaling more than US$100 million.”

    The New York Times, citing anonymous law enforcement officials, said the US federal charges include racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud and span two decades of misconduct in soccer’s world governing body.
    Read more

  49. Elizabeth

    European soccer body Uefa has called the dual American and Swiss corruption probes a “disaster for Fifa”.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 29 May 2015
    Football: Crisis deepens as U-20 tournament kicks off
    The implications of the Fifa bribery scandal deepened yesterday ahead of the opening of the Under-20 World Cup in Auckland tomorrow.
    Major Fifa sponsors Visa and Hyundai threatened to withdraw their backing of world football’s governing body and demanded it clean up its act.
    Read more

  50. Tim

    Dirty professional sport again.
    Dunedin knows it well.

  51. Peter

    Well….if these people can be… wait for it.. made accountable, why not rortings in a little provincial city near you.

  52. Hype O'Thermia

    Uh oh, the septic bladder has retained his Rortmeister position. Let’s hear it for corruption, hip’ray hip’ray hip……….

  53. Elizabeth

    Dunedin has been spoilt for high quality sport the past seven months. (ODT)

    ### ODT Online Mon, 1 Jun 2015
    Passionate supporters bring cup fever to Dunedin
    By Robert van Royen
    The beautiful game came to Dunedin yesterday and it was, well, beautiful.
    More than 6000 people watched Mali stun Mexico 2-0 and Uruguay edge Serbia 1-0 at the temporarily renamed Otago Stadium, the first of seven Fifa Under 20 World Cup games in Dunedin.
    Read more

    Dunedin Dave asks sensible questions !!!
    Ask women’s underwear salesman Terence Davies at DVML.

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