Stadium: NZRU in the sights

NZRU takes a very high percentage of the returns from professional rugby matches at Fubar and other regional stadiums around New Zealand. NZRU’s Steve Tew doesn’t want you to dwell on that, he’s making money.

Dunedin’s Mayor Cull and City Councillors need to wake up.

ODT 28.6.14 Letter to editor (page 34)

ODT 28.6.14 Letter to editor Garbutt (page 34)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Carisbrook, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Highlanders, Media, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

10 responses to “Stadium: NZRU in the sights

  1. Elizabeth

    Dunedin can’t expect higher returns for the city by getting hard with NZRU unless it combines forces with the ownership and management of all regional stadiums. This is where mayors need to lobby – together, and fast.

  2. Cars

    It’s a standard practice “Divide and Rule”, cities will not work together. Each mayor will attempt to gain a marginal benefit over another so that they will seem to be pro-active and thus be re-elected. There is no doubt that the NZRU need to pay more, but who will bring the collective view and will those cities be prepared to miss out on rugby tests until the populace turn on the rugby union rather than the city fathers. I see as little reason for ratepayers to indirectly fund highly paid professional rugby players as I see it as inane to pay council employees over $100,000 to continually err in judgement and wastage of ratepayer funds.

  3. Mike

    Surely what Steve Tew is saying here is that Dunedin is welcome to raise ticket prices as high as we like, rugby will keep coming here just as they would have kept coming to Carisbrook in fact he claims to just take a percentage and presumably would be very happy if we raised ticket prices.

    Of course we’ve all seen the contracts and I feel a tui moment coming on .

  4. Phil

    Of course Steve would be happy if the ticket prices were higher. That is because the NZRU takes 100% of the ticket sales money. They then pay the venue operator a delayed hire fee based on the revenue received. A fee rate which is determined by the NZRU, not the venue operator. The NZRU even takes payment for the 2,200 people who are “foundation members”, or some equally bizarre name, even if they weren’t at the match.

  5. Anonymous

    DVML has no leverage against NZRU. None.

    DVML could raise ticket prices. NZRU still pays them a flat fee per Test and pockets the difference.
    DVML could add a stadium levy for each Test. NZRU would then say “plenty of other stadiums”.
    DVML can’t substantially reduce their costs for a Test match.

    There is no way to get rich through rugby. Other than being in the club of rugby. I was reminded of this several times over the weekend.

    • Elizabeth

      Maybe we’ll have to perform natural selection to winnow out the fatcat sleazy rugby clubbers suit brigade – trouble is most have dispersed their DNA far and wide, and like wilding pine trees the problem hardly ever goes away.

  6. Phil

    Exactly, Anonymous. it has always been the NZRU who have called the shots. They decided on the fee to be paid (flat fee for test matches and a percentage of gate takings for other matches). The venue operator gets $100,000 for hosting a Lions test match. That’s the top dollar match offered in NZ. They could hike the prices up to $1,000 a ticket but they would still only receive $100,000. Maybe Councillors thought that they might have some kind of power if they offered up a brand new stadium but, as far as the NZRU are concerned, it’s just one of many stadia located in regions generating low ticket sales revenue. You could tear down Eden Park and Auckland would still get more matches than Dunedin.

  7. Elizabeth

    Further to post at top of thread:

    Supplied, ODT 12.7.14 Letter to the editor (page 30)

    ODT 12.7.14 Letter to the editor Domigan p30.jpg

  8. Elizabeth

    Following a request, Bev Butler provided this historical ODT article today (since found here).

    Remember this….

    ### ODT Online Fri, 16 Mar 2012
    Highlanders’ stadium deal found to be void last year
    By David Loughrey
    A deal that was understood to have been struck with the Highlanders to use Forsyth Barr Stadium was found to be void last year, just months before the Otago Rugby Football Union went into financial meltdown. The result is two new venue hire agreements – one for each union – but those agreements seem set to give less money to Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), the company running the stadium. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said yesterday the reason was the parlous financial state of both rugby organisations.
    That new deal ended up being one the Highlanders franchise was “more comfortable” with, but one Mr Davies said was worse for DVML. […] Mr Davies said the deal with the ORFU was different, and he expected some people would be “enraged” by it. There was a percentage for DVML, but with an “incentivised” structure.
    Read more

  9. When the ORFU went into meltdown and voided the stadium deal, that was the time that Dave Cull, if he had any compunction at all towards the ratepayers’ welfare, would have called a halt. He would have called council to decide there and then whether or not it was the city’s duty to put rugby on perpetual life support. Instead, they took the cowards’ way out and ‘kicked the can down the road’. These actions mark this as one of the weakest group of people in the office of the mayoralty and council that the city has had, and that in itself is no mean feat, when we look at the immediate predecessors. His leadership in many subsequent actions have confirmed this.

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