On salvaged Carisbrook seats at North Harbour Stadium are (from left) stadium event co-ordinators Jeremy Wilkinson and Devon Ingle, venue manager Brian Doherty, function centre manager Courtney Jackson and assistant accountant Sarah Mills in Albany. Photo supplied.
Carisbrook's demise was the end of an era for Otago. Shawn
McAvinue tracks down those lucky enough to secure a memento
of the stadium before it was demolished.
The cut-price Carisbrook seats will harbour sports fans again
and help spark an ''electric'' feeling at an Albany stadium.
North Harbour Stadium venue manager Brian Doherty said the
stadium bought 5500 dark blue and light blue Carisbrook seats
from a Rotary club fundraising project.
North Harbour Stadium had more than 19,000 permanent seats
and two grass embankments.
The salvaged seats were part of a project to permanently
install about 3000 seats on each embankment and build the
stadium capacity to 25,000 seats.
The organisers of major events, such as Fifa, needed
spectators seated on individual seats in chairs and not on
embankments, he said.
The seats arrived at Albany in seven shipping containers in
November and the planning and consenting process had started
to ensure the seats were installed for the first Fifa
under-20 World Cup match on May 15, 2015.
Research estimated that to build new permanent seating would
cost $140 per seat. A week after the stadium's investigation
started, Rotary announced the Carisbrook fundraising project.
The Carisbrook seats cost the stadium $10 each, he said.
Mr Doherty had heard some of the seats had been only sat on
about 10 times because many of the seats were used for
temporary seating brought out of storage for big Carisbrook
games and were not weathered.
''There's no UV damage. They're in good nick.''
Unfortunately there were not 6000 blue Carisbrook seats
available, he said.
''We could have bought yellow seats but the stadium architect
wasn't too keen on that idea.''
The yellow seats would have clashed with the blue and
existing teal seating, he said.
The blue seating was not too ''outrageously different'' from
the teal seating, but ''a couple of blocks of yellow'' would
When the project was complete the stadium would have a
colosseum feel, which the stadium had for the 2011 Rugby
World Cup, when the temporary seating covered the
embankments, he said.
''The atmosphere was absolutely electric, so we are keen to
get that feel back.''