A rather short-term vision, it turns out, Forsyth Barr Stadium was pitched as a multi-purpose stadium for Dunedin —a necessary investment in the future of the city. At various stages of development the building was also known as Dunedin Stadium, Awatea Street Stadium, New Carisbrook, or its non-commercial official name during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Otago Stadium. Colloquially, it’s ‘The Glasshouse’, given the resemblance to a horticultural hot house.
The glasshouse-fubar though, has bred of itself a bloated money-sucking monster for DCC, ratepayers, and residents. For accountability and transparency, need we ask if fumigation and sterilisation are enough to eradicate white collar aphids and fungal rorting?
But what happens if the wilting irreparable (no maintenance budget…) stadium also has rugby tests forcibly ‘removed’? Too late, already happened. Bring in the moths, or more of the hopeless ratepayer subsidies?
You want to know how the ‘private th-robbing vision’ of St Farry of Saint Clair (now Queenstown) can possibly be re-envisioned against mountainous council debt? Well, what about recouping lost millions from the stadium’s privateering progenitors?
With yesterday’s dose of “antiseptic sunshine” from DCC chief executive Sue Bidrose (also administered beforehand as DCC quietly mustered its forces) the community stands a good chance to end seven years or more of serial manipulation as the council gullibly, knowingly or otherwise takes the worst ride of its corporate and financial history.
The review of Forsyth Barr Stadium will encompass the entire operating model, from the company operating structure to the way the stadium is run on the ground —done in conjunction with Dunedin Venues Ltd, the parent company, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, which operates the stadium, and the council’s holding company.
The review will be presented to council mid year, if not sooner, and be accompanied by OPTIONS.
The abrupt announcement of the pending review by council chief executive Sue Bidrose at the Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 meeting yesterday was no doubt astonishing to many present. It showed considerable strength, intelligence and temerity on her part —here is, “good leadership”. As we consider the implications and all facets of what the investigation can begin to reveal, Sue Bidrose should understand that she is supported both from inside and outside this council. There’s agency ‘around about’ geared to elicit information the council isn’t in a position to gather itself.
### ODT Online Thu, 23 Jan 2014
Review as council seeks stadium solution
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council is to do a fundamental review of the operating and funding models of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, which continues to be unable to meet its budget. Chief Executive Sue Bidrose informed the council this morning that she had instigated the review as it became increasingly obvious the original model for running the stadium, which was set up to suggest the stadium could pay its own way, was “fundamentally optimistic”.
### dunedintv.co.nz January 23, 2014 – 7:23pm
Full review of Forsyth Barr Stadium’s finances to be undertaken
By David Loughrey
The DCC is about to undertake what its chief executive has called a complete and fundamental review of the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s finances. The unexpected announcement came early in the piece, as the council sat to consider its next year’s budget. And ratepayers wary of more of their money heading towards the stadium will be disappointed to hear the review itself will cost them.
### radionz.co.nz Updated about 1 hour ago
Reporting by Ian Telfer
Dunedin stadium facing review
The Dunedin City Council says the South Island city’s struggling stadium is being reviewed because it will never make money the way it is run. The announcement was made by the council’s new chief executive, Sue Bidrose, at the start of annual budget setting meetings on Thursday morning.
The $230 million stadium opened in 2011 to replace the Carisbrook ground, but controversy has continued over its construction costs and resulting council debt.
Dr Bidrose said it had become increasingly obvious that the existing model set up to manage and operate the stadium and its finances was broken. She said the stadium’s original budgets were too optimistic and it would never be able to raise the $9 million needed to break even. This year, it has a funding gap of $100,000 or $200,000 and the problem will get worse without a better structure.
Dr Bidrose said some point there has to be a trigger to make a change – and that point is now. The full review will look at everything and put everything possible into the public domain.
A leading opponent of the stadium says she knew it would never pay its way. Bev Butler, the former president of the Stop the Stadium group, says the review vindicates her work. “This is what the debate was about. This is where there were hundreds and hundreds of submissons – high quality submissions telling the council that this is what the peer reviews said and the council ignored it.” Ms Butler says she expects the council will one day have to mothball the stadium because the city cannot afford to run it.
Radio NZ National – Checkpoint
Dunedin’s stadium would never pay its way, full review ordered
Reporting by Ian Telfer
17:23 It’s been revealed Dunedin’s 230-million-dollar stadium will never pay its way, prompting the city council to order a full ground-up review, including looking at privatising it.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (3:01 )
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: dunedintv.co.nz – Sue Bidrose re-imaged by Whatifdunedin