Submitted on November 26, 2013 at 9:31 am
I submitted this to the ODT as an Opinion Piece following their editorial, but I have been told that it has not been selected for publication. Up to you to judge why.
“The ODT Editorial of Friday, 22nd November, 2013 headed “Stadium’s hard act to follow” is another stage in what has turned out to be a sorry chapter in Dunedin’s history.
Many residents of Dunedin were dismayed and astonished that the decision to build the new rugby stadium proceeded despite wide-spread protests and well-researched submissions detailing the experiences of other city’s decisions to build stadia which invariably had led to construction cost blow-outs, below budgeted incomes and over budgeted expenditures. As it turns out, these submitters have been proved right time and time again. What is patently obvious to all of those that have read the various reports into this project including the Larsen Report and the PWC report, the project was predicated upon counting future income as private construction costs, and assuming income levels and costs that would have resulted in an actual profit from Year one of operation.
The reality is a great deal different.
The DCC, and the ratepayers of the City, have been forced, through a complex set of financial arrangements, to provide substantial financial support by way of a payment of $7.25m per year to enable the debt to be paid off faster, a payment of $750,000 per year for “promotion of the stadium for community events”, a payment of $725,000 for other stadium debt round seats and pitch machinery, another annual $400,000 to subsidise or attract large events, and ongoing additional costs for financial advice and the like. All this on top of the huge costs for construction and the associated debt which is a very large component of the $12,000 debt owed by each and every ratepayer to the DCC.
“On the eastern coast of New Zealand lies a world-first architectural icon – where 30,000 excited fans are drawn together to watch the action, be entertained, and celebrate. Welcome to Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza: New Zealand’s newest, largest and most versatile indoor events arena.”
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Facebook 22 July 2011 at 17:06
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr