There's no place like home.
However, for the Otago Rugby Supporters' Club, a place to
call home is becoming an increasing struggle.
Chairman Kelvin Windsor said several factors were holding the
club back from finding a permanent home and management at its
desired base at Forsyth Barr Stadium did not seem interested.
''They're not playing ball. They're not willing to
accommodate,'' he said.
The club moved away from Carisbrook, shortly after the
stadium shut down, to a home at the Cadbury social club.
However, this was always seen as a temporary home for the
proud club and with internal policies within the venue, they
may have to relocate soon.
The club is trying to negotiate a deal at the University club
near the stadium, but the ideal home, inside the stadium,
seems too big a thing to ask.
Mr Windsor said the supporters' club and the Otago Rugby
Football Union had been in contact with the sales manager at
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd and, for reasons he did not
understand, it did not seem interested.
The DVML communications manager, Jo Scully, said that sales
manager Craig McGregor had been through a thorough process
with the supporters' club, but to date no agree-ment had been
She acknowledged DVML chief executive Darren Burden had not
been involved to this date, but he was inviting the club to
discuss the matter directly with him should it have any
''To date, I have not been approached by the Otago Rugby
Supporters' Club. There are still spaces within the stadium
available for commercial hire and I would welcome the
opportunity to discuss a mutually beneficial arrangement with
the club,'' Mr Burden said.
The club has a rich history of supporting Otago rugby. It had
more than 800 members in the late 1990s when Otago was a
force in domestic rugby.
Even after parts of the terraces were removed and the team
started to underperform, the club still managed to house
between four and five hundred members when Carisbrook was
Mr Windsor felt it was important for the club to be located
close to the stadium, as it was a good place for players and
fans to interact after the game.
''I think more people would come back to the game [if its
base was close by].''
Mr Windsor was hopeful stadium management realised soon what
an asset the club could be to Otago Rugby.
- John McKenzie