### ODT Online Sat, 1 Feb 2014
Editorial: Business, or community asset?
The Dunedin City Council has been grappling with Forsyth Barr Stadium issues this past week. Fundamentally, they stem from the fact the economics of running the stadium are far worse than initially projected, an outcome that should surprise few. Many stadiums around the world struggle financially and Dunedin’s is no exception.
Comment received from Calvin Oaten
Submitted on 2014/02/01 at 1:56 pm
The ODT must have gotten a special on ‘lipstick’, because the Editor has really applied it thick and heavy on this “Pig”. I must go past and have another look at the shade. The last time I saw it was the same old ‘deathly pallor’, befitting its purpose in life.
He says: “Before too long the Stadium might well even struggle to meet operating costs, many of which are fixed.” What sort of statement is that, when it is acknowledged that the ratepayers at present pay $9.125m each year (pa) towards stadium related costs? Right there is a full barrel of ‘lipstick’.
● $144m of debt at 6% pa is $8.6m pa, Capital debt paid in 18 years (as Dave Cull claims) is $8m pa. Total $16.6m pa.
● Then there are the council contributions of $750,000 pa for community use subsidy, plus $400,000 pa events attraction fund. Total $17.75m pa.
● Then there are the Accumulated deficits of DVL and DVML amounting to $16.373m (see both annual reports ‘change in equity’ sections).
All up, the stadium hole is $34 million pa deep.
● Oh, and let’s not forget (as it often is) the High Performance Sports Centre, built on the NE side of the stadium. It was funded by the DCC on the basis of the HPSC paying all costs in order to clear the debt within ten years. This was reputed to cost the HPSC around $850,000 pa. Shortly after, a quiet motion was put to council that it should make an annual grant to HPSC of $850,000 pa, and it was readily approved by the council of the day. So there goes another bundle of ratepayers’ treasure.
We won’t even mention SH88 or the Carisbrook fiasco.
The Editor then says, “the councillors and the people of Dunedin will have to understand the stadium’s valuable place in the city’s extraordinary range of community – educational, cultural and sporting – facilities. It is a valuable community asset.”
Palpable claptrap. If the stadium suddenly disappeared in a puff of smoke (we wish) the only thing put out would be Super15, ITM cup and Test rugby. Nothing else, fullstop. Cricket, University Oval, Soccer, Caledonian Ground. All other sports, including lower grade rugby are well and truly catered for. Concerts, the Town Hall/Regent Theatre/Mayfair Theatre. Basketball and Netball, Edgar Centre/Lion Foundation. Swimming, Moana Pool.
Seriously, the stadium is an incredibly expensive arena foisted upon the citizens by a small, very determined group of ‘rugby nutters’, and that is the truth of the matter. The editorial in today’s ODT is nothing more than a ‘hollow attempt’ to put a case for the stadium as an asset, based on nothing but falsehoods and ‘mystical’ dreams. That it will mislead a lot of more deserving citizens is the shame of it all.
Related Posts and Comments:
29.1.14 Stadium: Brent Edwards cuts the grass (ODT 29.1.14)
27.1.14 Stadium: No 4 at interest.co.nz
25.1.14 Stadium: Some helped it along, or themselves!
24.1.14 Stadium: It came to pass . . .
17.1.14 Garrick Tremain: Our Stadium
26.11.13 Russell Garbutt: DCC, stadium failings
7.10.13 DCC councillors, no idea annual cost of owning, operating FB Stadium
For older posts, enter *stadium* in the search box at right.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Image: odt.co.nz – Calvin Oaten re-imaged by Whatifdunedin