Tag Archives: Attendance numbers

Southern Region, serving itself —or professional rugby (and Sky TV)

### ODT Online Tue, 1 Jul 2014
Opinion
Fresh thinking needed in local government
By Ciaran Keogh
Perhaps it is time to look at a far-reaching reform of the way local government functions at both local and regional level. There are substantial efficiencies to be gained from integrating many council functions across the councils within the region. More than 10 years ago I did away with all IT functions at the Clutha District Council and merged these with Invercargill City. This model would work for all of the councils across all of Otago and Southland for little more than it currently costs Dunedin City Council to run its IT services.
Some fresh thinking needs also to be applied to the stadium and the first of these should be the monopoly that rugby has over it and the grass surface.
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● Ciaran Keogh is a former chief executive of the Clutha District Council, Wakool Shire in the Riverina region of New South Wales, and Environment Southland. He now lives in Dunedin.

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Crowds had been down right across the five New Zealand franchises but that was a worldwide trend, with fewer people attending events.

### ODT Online Tue, 1 Jul 2014
Rugby: Crowds can’t fall any further – Clark
By Steve Hepburn
The Highlanders met budget for crowds this year but have warned they cannot dip any lower if the franchise is to remain viable. In the eight games the Highlanders hosted at Forsyth Barr Stadium this year, 98,326 people came through the gate, an average crowd of 12,291 per game. […] A crowd of 11,070 attended the last home game, the win over the Chiefs, a figure that did not exactly delight Highlanders general manager Roger Clark.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZRU ‘hustles’ towns and cities to build stadiums

What happens to our cathedrals, the large stadiums found in every major centre, if we lose faith?

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 14/06/2014
Sport
What about the state of New Zealand stadiums?
By Matt Nippert
[Excerpts from a longer article…] The covered 31,000-seat Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, constructed in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, may be the newest major sporting facility in the country but has already proved the most controversial. The bulk of its $224 million construction cost came from Dunedin City Council, but ongoing costs to ratepayers have caused considerable angst. Ratepayers were forced into a $2.3m bailout in May, and are mulling whether a permanent annual subsidy will be required to keep it running.

Getting to grips with exactly how much stadiums cost is a tricky exercise. Construction has often been piecemeal, with grandstands redeveloped or rebuilt over time, blurring total capital expenditure. And determining operational costs – whether stadiums require ongoing contributions by ratepayers – is further complicated by many facilities being run from within city councils or by council-controlled organisations. This makes the extraction of a discrete set of accounts, most notably in Dunedin and Waikato, an impossibility.

Analysis of accounts for Wellington and Auckland, run by dedicated trusts and two of the most transparent stadiums, shows that break-even is realistically the best case.

At New Zealand Rugby headquarters, chief executive Steve Tew broadly agrees that the glory days [of attendance at games] are over. Viewers watching broadcasts of a game have supplanted punters going through stadium turnstiles.

But there is one niche where the faith of the rugby faithful remains strong: All Blacks tests. Hosting the national team is often the only time stadiums up and down the country reach capacity.

While great for New Zealand Rugby coffers, Massey University’s Sam Richardson says the All Blacks have warped stadium construction priorities. “It’s an absolutely huge detriment. If you’re building a stadium where the financial viability year to year relies on an All Blacks test, there’s no question New Zealand Rugby plays a massive part in whether these facilities are going to be used to their potential,” he says.

Canterbury University economist Eric Crampton says building capacity for a solitary annual All Black test is akin to “buying a six-bedroom house just in case both sets of grandparents come to visit at the same time”. Crampton says the proliferation of large loss-making stadiums, both in New Zealand and worldwide, has been mainly because of the economic equivalent of hustling. “Sporting teams have been able to convince councils all over the place – and have been able to play them off against each other by threatening to move – to build excessive stadiums.
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“Fifa, like the International Olympic Committee, is widely regarded as corrupt. In that, it reflects our flawed species; while capable of fabulous feats, a dark side lurks.”

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Jun 2014
Editorial: Revelling in sport
OPINION As Dunedin and the South gear up for the excitement of tonight’s rugby test in the city, a sporting event in another league entirely kicked off yesterday.
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Garrick Tremain – 14 June 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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