Stadium use: Dog walking, dope growing suggested

Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo from ODT files.
Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo from ODT files.
How would you like to walk your dog, graze your sheep, or stroll across the roof of Forsyth Barr Stadium?

These are some of the suggestions people have made to help the Dunedin City Council increase revenue from and community use of the struggling stadium.

Last month, Mayor Dave Cull called for suggestions from the public on how to make the most of the stadium.

People were invited to make their feedback on a website or through a survey sent to the 625 members of the People's Panel. The council also contacted more than 220 organisations that had used the stadium for their views.

The council received 487 responses which will be discussed at the council's stadium model subcommittee tomorrow.

Many people took the opportunity to make other suggestions regarding the stadium, including using it as a dog walking venue (risk of dog faeces in turf means it not an option), including a climbing wall and swimming pool and using it as an IMAX theatre (all of which had been considered).

Others were critical about the sound system, food and drink prices, signage and management.

There were 37 suggestions made on how to increase revenue at the stadium, a report to the subcommittee said.

Seventy-five respondents suggested a greater variety of events and use were needed, 24 proposed original stadium supporters be asked for money and donations, and 23 made submissions on charging for parking or establishing a park-and-ride system, which stadium officials were working on.

Relocating the Otago Regional Council to the east end of the stadium was suggested by two respondents, as was fundraising through a sausage sizzle.

The idea of creating a special lottery and creating a walk across the top of the stadium were both suggestions that stadium management would consider, the report said.

Ten ideas were proposed on how to reduce costs, with 49 people suggesting reviewing or reducing staff, management and consultancy costs, and 35 believed more volunteers should be used.

The most popular idea for increasing community use of the stadium was by reducing costs for its use (73), followed by increased promotion (59) and reducing ticket prices (38).

Other suggestions included using it as a sports ground with a small entry fee when no other events were scheduled and setting up a website for bookings.


The feedback

 - Grow and sell medical opium or cannabis.
 - Convert into indoor garden.
 - Lease pitch for grazing.
 - Tours including a walk across roof.
 - Charge tourists a bed tax.
 - Introduce second-tier ground membership.
 - Create a fund for people to give towards community events.
 - Sell stadium merchandise.

Source: DCC report


Third most used council facility

Mike, I hate to use your stats against you again. I have just looked at the survey you mentioned, and yes, you are correct - 30% of residents visited the stadium. This makes it the 3rd most popular council facility, only 8 points behind the gardens, and 1 point behind the library (less than the margin of error difference). Almost one in three people went to the stadium during the year. This is an outstanding result for the first year.

Under your logic, only 31% of residents used the library, and 69% don't so lets turn it into a hotel and make some money. It makes my blood boil, thinking about all of those professional bookworms sitting there reading books and spending my rates. More people use the stadium than the museums, the galleries, the pool, the Regent, the Fortune... I could go on. Should we get rid of all of these too?

I also question the results of this survey. I also note that 14% visited the town hall, but this has been closed during this period.  9% visited the Settlers but I'm sure this has been closed too. You are also incorrect - the residents survey is open to anyone who feels they would like to reply. I filled it in on the council website.

Also, the $100,000 you refer to was opening the stadium for the World Cup Games with a crowd of close to 30,000. However, many have stated this fact for all events. It doesn't cost $100,000 to open for the stadium markets, it doesn't cost $100,000 for the ITM cup and it doesn't cost $100,000 for the Phoenix.

Statistical vailidity

Max: the numbers are out of roughly 400 self selected respondents - one doesn't expect the same statistical rigour as a statistically random sample like the city's annual citizens survey - however saying that only 50 out of 120,000 want to shut the stadium is about a silly as saying that "only 37 out of 120,000 made suggestion on how the stadium should increase revenue" - perhaps you don't realise that 120,000 people didn't actually make submissions.

Of interest is the statistics about respondents - this 'survey' claims that only 50% of respondents had been to the stadium more than once while 25% had never been at all. We know from the random residents survey a few months ago that 70% of us have never been there - this means that 75% of the people who responded to this self selected survey consist of people from that other 30% - one should take the responses here to be that of a minority, not statistically representative of the 120,000 of Dunedin ratepayers.

If it were statistically from the same randomly selected population as the residents survey, and we assume that people who want the stadium to be closed are not going there then we can calculate that roughly 140 out of 400 people might be  calling for the stadium  to be closed.

As others have pointed out the $100k number is not from me but from a comment made by Mr Davies the head of DVML published in the ODT.

Altered State Stadium

In my experience, out of town Bests in Show dont like our water and it is too costly to truck in Northern supply. NZKC has its own exhibition hall at Porirua. Medical opium is generally morphine and codeine. I have no objection to undercutting multinational drug companies, but I suspect the suggestion was made by legalise cannabis tearaways.

Mike's stats

I always take Mike's stats with a grain of salt... eg $100k for opening the stadium... but this time you have provided excellent stats. They show that a tiny minority could be bothered to comment. For example, 52 people think the stadium should be closed or sold. Does this mean that the other 120,000 support the stadium?

Some other numbers

MikeStk: here are some numbers for you.

55% don't want to subsidise: Again, I could use the fact that a lot don't chose to comment, but in fact I'll simply take that 45% thinks the city should. So you have a slight advantage from a very small sample group.
52 - If you think this is enough people to close the stadium, you're dreaming.
31 - Simply being annoyed it exists is irrelevant
24 - People worry about paying more in rates - maybe ask the Library to give you $65 back so that you are paying the same amount for both assets. I can give you at least 24 people who aren't worried.
11 - Unless you are the CEO or management of a successful city asset turning a good profit, this stat is simply a case of sour grapes.
19 - I know at least 19 people that do think they are friendly. I'm not surprised they aren't friendly to the people that constantly blast their name in this forum. Last time I checked it wasn't a popularity contest.
45 - The ridiculous comment to make it BYO speaks for itself (with deafening silence)
I note that there are none of the positive stats. Your argument needs work.


More responses

This article misses a few other comments from the report 

  • 52 people thought the stadium should closed or sold
  • 31 were just annoyed it even existed,
  • 25 want more transparency over its financial state
  • 24 worry it they'll have to pay more for it in their rates,
  • 24 more think that the people who originally pushed for building the stadium should be asked for donations while 3 more think that CST should come through with the private fundraising they promised
  • 20 think that rugby should be charged the full cost of their using the facilities
  • 11 think DVML don't have the skills to run the stadium
  • 19 think they're just not very friendly
  • 45 think the stadium will make more money if they can bring their own beer and food (yes I know that makes no sense)
  • 27 people thought it should be converted into something else (park, homeless centre, drug cultivation, library, ...)
  • .... it goes on

Finally 55% of the people's panel thought that that the city should not be subsidising stadium operations.

Stadium use

Why not utilise the stadium as a camping ground? There's ample toilets and all the usual ammenities, and it would be the first camping ground in the world where you wouldn't need a top on the tent.

Sell it

They didn't mention my submission advising them to sell it to the highest bidder in private enterprise. Cuts the cost of running it and pays off debt. Maybe Malcom Farry would like to buy it?

Alternative stadium use

Risk of dog faeces??

Isn't there a 'poop & scoop' by-law?

Surely this 'risk' already exists at every outdoor venue in the country - a pre-game ground inspection (for glass, etcetera) should take care of this.

And, does this mean that if the NZ Kennel Club applied for the National Dog Show, they would be turned down??

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