The managers of the Forsyth Barr Stadium have opened up one
end of the venue for use by the community free of charge as
part of a $750,000 annual service level agreement with the
Dunedin City Council.
Schools, sports teams and community groups have been invited
to use the Otago Daily Times stand at eastern end of the
stadium free of charge.
Dunedin Venues Ltd chief executive Darren Burden said there
would be no charge for the use of the covered, concrete
sealed pad, which he imagined would be ''perfect'' for sports
training and practice as well as physical education or school
Nearby toilets and bus parking in the stadium car park were
available and their use, as well as any associated cleaning
and lighting, would all be free of charge.
The stand area has already had various uses, and is either
used for the stage or temporary seating for major events at
It has previously been roped off and used for concerts
attended by up to 5000 people.
With winter approaching, Mr Burden said he expected the pad
to be popular with sports and school groups looking for a
guaranteed dry space.
''We continue to work towards striking the appropriate
balance between commercial and community events. Being able
to provide such affordable access and fostering community
pride in the stadium is really important to us as an
The council last year agreed to spend $750,000 a year to
subsidise greater community use of the stadium.
As the final agreement between the council and Dunedin Venues
Management Ltd was reached only in December, about half, or
$375,000 is available to be spent on community activities by
DVML decides how the money is to be spent, either by
subsidising or fully funding community events.
So far, a Sunday market at the stadium each week, the Relay
For Life and the recent New Zealand Marching Championships
have received funding via the agreement.
Mr Burden could not say yesterday how much remained to be
No decisions had been made about what happened with any money
unspent under the agreement - which can be reviewed or
modified by the council at any time - at the end of each
The pad was available for the community to use weekdays
between 8.30am and 4.30pm.
Bookings were essential and subject to availability.