Warriors player Konrad Hurrell high-fives with children from the Fairfield School kapa haka group at a welcome for the team at Dunedin International Airport yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Forsyth Barr Stadium is set for its biggest week yet, with
more than 50,000 punters expected through the turnstiles this
Those fans were expected to chew their way through 4500 pies
and three tonnes of hot chips, and drink 11,000 cans of soft
drink, 15,000 cans of beer and 16,000 litres of tap beer.
Completed events this week include the Winery Tour and Otago
University Students' Association Orientation events, which
culminated in a 5500 sellout for Macklemore last night.
An estimated 35,000 sports fans are expected to attend games
between the Highlanders and the Chiefs (tonight), and the
Warriors v Broncos pre-season match (tomorrow night).
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden
said this week's events, which also included a lunch and an
official welcome, made it the busiest for the venue and
highlighted its versatility.
''In an ideal world, we would have spread the events out, but
what a fantastic week this is for the stadium when we have
more than 50,000 coming through.''
The end of the financial year would show just how varied the
events had been, he said. They included Nitro Circus, Ride
the Rhythm, All Whites, Phoenix, Paul Simon and a regular
''I think people are now proud the stadium is here.
''They are proud and making it part of their own.
''There is buy-in from the students who are saying: `We have
come to study in Dunedin and we are going to use our
Stadium income came from venue hire, commissions from
catering firm Compass Group New Zealand, and merchandise and
ticketing commissions, but ''this varies from event to
event'', he said.
In addition to the casual staff employed by the security firm
and catering company at the ground, DVML staffing numbers
were ''pretty lean'', and it was common for staff to help run
events in their own time.
''It comes down to looking after some of the costs and making
sure we are as efficient as we possibly can [be], so on Toga
Night, for example, I was out there wristbanding students.
''But what better way to understand your venue then to be up
close when the students are coming in.''
Mr Burden was in his office at 6.30am yesterday and was not
expected home until 1am today after the Macklemore gig.
He was looking forward to the introduction of rugby league to
the stadium tomorrow.
''The issue for me is demonstrating to rugby league that this
is an exciting place to come to. We have a captive audience
''If we can get 15,000 people here for what is effectively a
pre-season ... then my hope is we will secure an NRL league
game next season.''
Eight days at the stadium
Forsyth Barr Stadium events.-
Sunday: Winery tour (1400)
Monday: University student welcome (2500), OUSA
hypnotist (2120), Otago Polytech welcome (150)
Tuesday: Toga party (2450)
Wednesday: Comedy night (2120 - estimate)
Thursday: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (5500), Faculty of
Dentistry welcome (200)
Friday: Highlanders v Chiefs (20,000 - estimate), Club
Otago medical lunch (150)
Saturday: Warriors v Broncos (15,000)