### 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 Russell Garbutt
Sunday, 2 February 2014 9:07 p.m.
The Editorial asks a question but answers it in the way to be expected, but unfortunately the arguments that the Editor uses are at best specious, and perhaps are nothing other than a rather obvious way to influence those that are now coming to grips with the review.
Let us debunk a few myths. I attended a number of meetings where Mr Farry presented and the rationale for the stadium altered dependent on the audience. I vividly recall a meeting of University staff held in Burns 1 chaired by the previous Vice Chancellor, Sir David Skegg, where Mr Farry said that it really was a stadium for the University. I attended other meetings where the stadium was to be built as a venue for regular and spectacular travelling rock shows. But it was always a professional rugby stadium.
The biggest elephant in this room is the myth that the stadium — whatever its purpose — was to be built debt free, and would require no ratepayer funding as it would generate a profit each and every year. For the ODT to compare this project with something like Moana Pool is plainly just stupid.
As others have pointed out, anyone can use Moana Pool at any time of day or a big portion of the night and they can do so on almost every day of the year. Thousands use it every day and it is truly a community amenity. The stadium is off limits and the only ones that can use it as they wish are the professional rugby teams.
Just why the ODT and the proponents of the stadium have not talked to Mr Farry, Sir Edgar, and the other members of the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) to clarify with them exactly how the stadium was to be provided and run at NO ratepayer cost, is a mystery. Maybe it is because the ODT know that the promises made to do exactly that were nothing other than wishful thinking. But then again, at that crucial time, the CST informed us that two leading New Zealand accountancy firms supported the CST promises. Maybe instead of continuing to support the stadium, the ODT would be best to do some investigative work and find out just why these two firms believed that the CST was on sure ground.
While it might be hard for the ODT and other proponents of the stadium to have to admit that those that saw the actions of the CST in a different light to them and have been proven to be right in every area of concern, it is plainly ridiculous to now adopt the view that stadiums always lose money and so we shouldn’t be worried. That is not what was promised and that is not what has happened.
Related Posts and Comments:
1.2.14 Stadium: ODT editorial (1.2.14) —“Palpable claptrap” says Oaten
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: dunedintv.co.nz – Russell Garbutt re-imaged by Whatifdunedin