Paul Simon's performance at Forsyth Barr Stadium is
expected to deliver a multimillion-dollar cash injection for
Dunedin, underscoring the need for a new events attraction
fund, the Otago Chamber of Commerce says.
Simon, the 12-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter, was last
week unveiled as the long-awaited follow-up to the Elton John
He would perform at the stadium on April 6, then at
Auckland's Vector Arena on April 8.
Chamber chief executive John Christie yesterday said the
concert would attract fans from around the South Island and
possibly across New Zealand.
A sellout crowd would probably mean an economic impact on a
par with the $14 million delivered to Dunedin by the Elton
John concert in late 2011, which drew 35,000 fans.
That was because, as with the Elton John concert, fans coming
to Dunedin were likely to be ''more mature'', with higher
disposable incomes, and spend more than one night in the
city, he said.
''The demographic will be pretty similar and from that
perspective we are likely to see a similar economic impact
for the city,'' he said.
It was a sentiment echoed yesterday by Hospitality
Association of New Zealand Otago branch president Mark Scully
and Dunedin Restaurant Association president Steve
Richardson, who both welcomed news of the concert.
''It's going to appeal to a wide range of people because he's
had success over such a long period of time,'' Mr Scully
Mr Christie said yesterday there was no doubt the concert
would make a positive economic contribution to the city, and
underscored the need for a new events fund.
The city needed headline acts like Elton John or Simon to
lure people to the city.
''It keeps Dunedin on people's list of places to visit,'' he
Dunedin city councillors were set to consider a report on
DVML's financial future - including the possibility of a new
events fund to offer incentives for big acts - in coming days
as part of the council's 2013-14 pre-draft budget meetings.
Deputy mayor Chris Staynes also raised the prospect of a new
events fund, paid for by the city's hospitality businesses,
late last year, as the council grappled with news of DVML's
$3.2 million loss for the 2011-12 year.
Mr Christie said talk of a new fund would generate debate,
but the city needed to spend money to make money.
''We do need to have a budget there for events that are going
to be able to attract promoters, to bring events that are
going to be of some risk to them to Dunedin.''
The big question, Mr Christie believed, was whether
ratepayers or the city's hospitality sector, who stood to
benefit the most from more big events, should pay for it.
''I think that's something we need to work through as a city
and then get on with it . . . but we definitely need a
fund,'' he said.
Mr Scully said it made sense for those who benefited from big
events to pay for such a fund.
However, it became more complicated when considering whether
only central city bars, restaurants and accommodation
providers should be covered, or if the net should be cast
wider, he believed.
''Some will get massive gains out of it, some will get
minimal, and some will actually have a negative effect,'' he
''That's the challenge for the council. If they want to
implement something like that, it has to be well thought out
and it has to be fair.''
Despite that, he believed securing more big events would be
''absolutely crucial'' for the city and the stadium.
''At the end of the day, if we can have events that bring
money in from outside Dunedin, that's the key.
''The more events like this we have at the stadium, the
Mr Richardson was more circumspect, saying his members
welcomed big events but did not want to pay more to help