Revellers in the Octagon after the All Blacks' victory on
Saturday night. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin's reputation as an ''event city'' was enhanced by
its successful hosting of the Bledisloe Cup match at the
weekend, Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton says.
The city's accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors
received a welcome boost from thousands of visiting rugby
fans. Warm weather was also a welcome visitor, Dunedin
recording a high of 21degC on Saturday and a similar
temperature yesterday despite the cloudy conditions.
An economic assessment was awaited, but Otago Chamber of
Commerce chief executive John Christie said similarly large
events held previously benefited the city by about $15
Mr Saxton said Dunedin was the best place in New Zealand to
host international rugby matches.
''The feedback we've had from media ... and officials was
just how impressive Dunedin is in its ability - and its
co-ordinated ability - to host a match.''
The Terrace Restaurant and Bar owner John MacDonald, who
helped organise the Octagon's marquee village, said about
3000 people spent time in the village before, and after, the
''The village itself was hugely successful.''
The crowd was well behaved and the Australian visitors
especially were impressed with Forsyth Barr Stadium, the ease
of getting around the city and the fine weather.
''One of the keys to the success of the whole event was the
Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden
said feedback about the sold-out stadium was very positive.
''From my perspective it was a superb event.''
Mr Burden said New Zealand Rugby Union officials he spoke to
on Saturday night were delighted.
The ITM Cup Championship semifinal match played yesterday
afternoon made it ''almost the ultimate rugby weekend in
Otago Motel Association president Chris Roy said the event
was a ''great endorsement'' of the stadium.
''I think it's a wonderful asset for the city. It would be
nice to see more people get behind the stadium because
without that stadium, we wouldn't have these sorts of events,
because Carisbrook would never have got them.
''I think just about everybody was full. I don't think there
would have been any spare beds in the city.''
Mr Roy said most of the guests staying in his motel, in
George St, were Australian.
''As far as motel accommodation goes, this is as good as it
gets, having a big event like this.
Dunedin Holiday Park manager Daniel Grubb said the camp got
late permission from the Dunedin City Council to set up an
overflow area to help it cope with visitor numbers. The park
accommodated more than 800 visitors for the test. Senior
Sergeant Gavin Briggs, of Dunedin, said police were pleased
with the behaviour of the crowd. There were about eight
evictions from Forsyth Barr Stadium, not all by police.
All up, police made 10 arrests on Saturday night, not
particularly high for a weekend, Sergeant Ed Baker said.