Highlanders v Crusaders ticket sales reach 16,500

Ticket sales for Saturday's match between the Highlanders and the Crusaders have hit 16,500, and accommodation in the city for the weekend is filling up.

The Highlanders are coming off a tight win against the Hurricanes, and are fifth on the competition ladder - with the Crusaders right behind them.

By Monday night, 15,000 tickets had been sold, and Highlanders management was hoping for a crowd of about 18,500 for the game at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Another 1500 were sold yesterday afternoon and a spokeswoman said ''it would be great to get to 22,000''.

Dunedin i-Site manager Louise Van de Vlierd said there were few hotel or motel rooms left in the city.

But ''heaps'' of bed and breakfast vacancies and other alternative accommodation remained, she said.

Completely agree

Jimmy I completely agree with your numbers - but I think it's important to split the rugby stadium losses down to their causes:

Firstly there's the cost of servicing the city's debt, there's honestly little we can do here other than persuade the rugby to raise the $55m in private fundraising they promised us, as a condition for the stadium being built - so far they've continued to welch on that promise without even once doing something as simple as passing the hat at games.

Then there's the ongoing cost of running the stadium - this is essentially the difference between the stadium being open and closed - even though we were told it would make a profit or it should at least break even on its operational costs - this is DVML as opposed to the rolled up DVL numbers) even after the existing ratepayer subsidies DVML lost ~$2m last year - I think that rugby should be paying enough for their tickets so that DVML (and the ORFU) stops being subsidised to the council and it breaks even while paying the real costs for using the venue, including rates and insurance - yes that would be way more than $2m but trying to get rugby people to step down form their pedestals of self entitlement to actually pay their own way in the world like regular citizens rather than expecting the rest of us to subsidise their every drunken game seems to be difficult, $2m seems like baby steps to get things started.

Stadium spin-doctoring

MikeStk: you keep saying that DVML is losing about $2 million/year as if you think that this is the only cost of the DCC's stadium. The DCC and the ODT want you to think this and don't want you to think about the losses of the other stadium company, DVL, and the various other costs and subsidies.

For the latest 12 month period, DVL made a loss of $4.8 million and received a subsidy of $7.3 million, creating a burden on the city's renters and ratepayers of $12.1 million. To get the total burden, you need to add together all the losses, costs and subsidies of DVL and DVML. The DCC has told us only some of the payments to DVL and DVML, but have not revealed the total burden. I agree with you that ticket prices and hire fees should be large enough to pay for all the losses, subsidies and costs, as we were promised.

Boring and insular

When people object to the tens of millions being wasted at the stadium thet get called boring and insular. I just wonder why those who support the stadium can't see that the business model was flawed from the start. When Dr Bidrose's latest stadium review is released and it is even more ugly than anyone could believe it will not have any affect on those who support the stadium. Whilst the rest of the local population is up in arms at millions being wasted this small minority will continue defending the indefensible. It is a pity they don't club together and buy the place so the city can stop paying for it. Of course, they would run a mile at the thought of all the losses they would be faced with. Then they would feel just the way rest of us already do.

Narrow-minded, insular and boring

HAJ sums up rugby and its supporters, as they will not pay their way. They will use any excuse to deflect from the fact this project is a dead financial duck (don't you people watch the news?)
HAJ just needs to pay the higher required ticket prices, along with all his buddies. Leave the ratepayer out of it and they will have nothing to grizzle about.
If rugby pays the stadium will become an asset. And HAJ, pigs might fly! [Abridged]

Pertinent questions

Wingy1234: Do you believe that the ticket prices for rugby matches should be increased to levels that enable the stadium to perhaps return the promised profit? Do you believe that those who falsely claimed that the stadium would be built debt-free should be held accountable? Why do you think that the CST declined your offers of assistance when you now know that they didn't deliver what they promised in their advert published in the ODT in 2008?

A small chunk

Otago's population is 213,000, all of whom are taxed to pay for the rugby stadium - 12,000 is 17%. A small chunk, not a large one.

The difference between  between the rugby stadium and Moana pool is of course that the pool was built for the public to use while the rugby stadium was built so that for-profit professional rugby had somewhere to make their profits.

The rugby stadium build cost to the ratepayers is over $120m more than was promised by rugby's CST. Now it's losing money because the for profit teams are wanting to bank the money rather than pay enough rent to cover the actual costs of using the venue. Why should our rates continue to go up year after year after year just so you can have some fun? It's time you guys grew up and started to pay your own way in the world rather than rifling your neighbours' wallets to pay the bills.


I am speechless that people are still grizzling about the cost of the stadium. Do you poeple not watch the news? How lucky are we to have the lives that we have? I tell you what - let's pull the thing down, then everything will be right with the world. Narrow-minded, insular and boring.

A rough estimate

Trev: Let's forget about debt for the moment. Let's calculate a rough estimate of how much tickets should go up so that fans are at least paying the marginal costs of their games.

 There are roughly 12 big rugby games a year. We seem to get ~7000 attendance at most games, with a couple of games getting a lot more, so let's say an average of 8000. About 20% are kids and students, so that leaves 6400 adults/game, 76,800 adults per season. DVML is losing ~$2m/year - spread that over 76,800 tickets and you get $26 per ticket just to make sure the debt doesn't get any bigger. Ignoring capital costs, that's $26 the ratepayers are subsidising each adult ticket.

Naturally, if you want to actually reduce debt you need to pay more.

Of course, DVML only gets 10% of the gross ticket price. The rugby establishment gets the rest. To actually net $26 DVML would likely have to raise each ticket price by $260.

Average crowd size 

The average crowd size is around 12,000 per game for the Super XV. Personally I think that is impressive to see a large chunk of Otago using a community asset.

Hypothermia: I imagine when you use the museum or the pool you donate a large amount of money towards the running costs of such facilities. To pay the "Real cost of using that asset" I doubt it. Both of them run at a loss, just like the stadium. Both of them provide great entertainment for hundreds of thousands of Otagoites, just like the stadium. The stadium however directly attracts thousands into the city, it is also broadcast around the world, something which I doubt the museum or pool can boast.

I know the thing that annoys you is it that the stadium committee did no real fundraising. Income in advance is not fundraising. I personally contacted the stadium trust with ideas for real fundraising. I even volunteered to help. They told me they were on top of it and that they would get back to me . . .

But the point is the Stadium's here, they built it anyway. Over a hundred thousand use it every year (not sure on the exact figures). It is a great stadium and I personally love it and am happy to pay for it through my rates for the greater good.


It's worth remembering that "build it and they will come" is from a movie about a guy who builds a sports ground to which no actual people do come.

What the ticket price should be?

Hype.o.thermia: I acknowledge your argument but since it has now been going a long time, how about you state what you consider should be the price charged per adult ticket and why and what effect would your ticket price have on public debt and future game attendance?

Such negativity is undignified

Come on guys, be more grateful. Millions will pour into the Dunedin economy, thousands will be employed, the Stadium is a success. Rugby is the winner on the day.


Built it, but would they pay?

Gregglies: Yes, the picture could have been different "if 16,500 tickets were sold at every game". If only they'd also paid the real cost for tickets... but that's not how it works, is it?

Build it and they will come...

...A promise that may have been fulfilled if 16500 tickets were sold at every game.

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