Davies not worried about Wellington's roof

Terry Davies.
Terry Davies.
The man in charge of Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium says he has ''bigger fish to fry'' than worry about whether Wellington will add a roof to its stadium.

It was reported yesterday a proposal to add a fixed or retractable roof to Westpac Stadium will be investigated by the Wellington City Council and the trust running the stadium.

The project, if it proceeds, would see a roof retrofitted to the stadium, at an estimated cost of between $60 million and $100 million, with Wellington's ratepayers picking up part of the bill, the Dominion Post reported.

However, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Terry Davies said when contacted he was more concerned about DVML's operation than developments in Wellington.

His focus was on improving DVML's processes, its relationships with sports organisations and promoters, and ensuring Dunedin's stadium was ''as competitive as we can be''.

''It's the same analogy in sport - you've just got to focus on what you do best, and do it better than any of your competitors.

''As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going to take interest in it. We've got much bigger fish to fry here,'' he said.

While any loss of events revenue from Dunedin's roofed venue could add to the drain on Dunedin's ratepayers, Mr Davies said it was not clear a roof on Wellington's stadium would deal such a blow.

Stadiums operated in a ''competitive industry'', but there was ''a myriad of things that go into securing an event'', he said.

''Being under cover is one, and it is a potential advantage, but is it the only one?

''I'd be absolutely plucking out of thin air to say they would be a threat to us. At the end of the day, if we get our act together, if we get in shape, we'll be competitive in the marketplace.''

His comments came after Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon described the $50,000 feasibility study into the roof project as ''blue-sky thinking''.

The idea of adding a roof had previously been ruled out, but Mr Harmon told the Dominion Post the study would now examine likely costs and whether it was structurally possible.

Any new roof would improve the spectator experience and provide certainty for events, but a decision would need to be weighed against other opportunities.

It was the latest suggestion of competition for Dunedin's roofed venue - at present the only one of its kind in New Zealand - which to date has been unable to avoid millions of dollars in losses, prompting a review of its operating model.

Christchurch is also considering a new roofed venue as part of the city's earthquake rebuild, although questions remain about when - or if - the project will ever get off the ground.


Makes sense

Avus makes sense. Sadly the DCC is not renowned for making sensible decisions - not only about the FB Stadium, it also lacks focus on infrastructure which is the DCC's real job. Instead, it tries to come up with whacky schemes to "progress" the city via cycleways that hardly anyone uses and provide no economic, cultural or environmental benefit.


Lose the liability

Some time ago I suggested the DCC should sell the stadium to the Otago University for the princely sum of $1.

The DCC needs to get rid of it before the thing drowns us. If someone buys it for a dollar at least it'll still be here to use (at a cost of course) and we can spend our money on the imporatnt infrastructure items so desparately in need.

Any other commercial enterprise crippling it's owner (us) wouldn't have the millions thrown at it like confetti as this thing does. There's too many self-interested parties involved to make the necessary change happen soon enough... 

No amount of "reviews" is going to make it work. It's a sinkhole for our money. And those responsible for it sleep rather well at night knowing they can just keep burning more without recourse. They didn't earn it, which makes it all so easy to flush away. [Abridged]


The Daily Scapegoat Gazette

Terry, Terry, if media ask you about what's going on way up North, say No Comment. Dont say Not my Business, people try to make it so.

Ratepayer liability

We are always hearing about Auckland's council debt and the fact that their interest bill alone on borrownings is $1 million per day. Each Auckland ratepayer has a current liabilty of $15,858 which is horrendous, right? Well guess what folks? Here in little old Dunedin every ratepayer has a liability of $15,093. These stats come from the recent ratepayers report and show we have the proud record of being only one spot behind the equally long-suffering ratepayers of Auckland. Even our friends in Christchurch who had their city destroyed, have less liability than us, coming in at $13,606 each.
Mayor Cull, you and successive councils have financially broken this city with your hare-brained schemes. The proof is there for all to see, so lets cut the rhetoric and find some solutions.


Lemons and Fish

Bigger fish to fry. Lemons go well with fish.

"Stadiums operated in a ''competitive industry'', but there was ''a myriad of things that go into securing an event'', he said."......What event? 3 years down the track and only Elton John, Aerosmith, 2 tests and a couple of RWC pool games.....

Good comment about excuses why communism did not work, is it the same with FSB stadium? it only needs to be done right? have we got the wrong crowd running it? will further reaching into ratepayers' pockets make it all work properly?

Another way of looking at it is encourage your children to play rugby, it is so well subsidised by the rate payer that being average will get them into the professional ranks. Sorry players but face the facts, without reaching into ratepayers' pockets to fund your venues SKY TV would not be interested. Your salaries are subsidised by us . . .[abridged]

Apologies well overdue for some

Sadly Bev you are very unlikely to get an apology as people who see no wrong in what they do never apologise. At best they find someone else to blame.

Rather than Mr Davies making on the ground staff redundant, he needs to take a hatchet to the underachievers at the top. 

Mr Davies

Another one rides into town, sucks up the ratepayers' money with an overbloated salary then when he finds out he's flogging a dead horse he'll be off like a robbers dog - why do you think the wife is coming out to the country "later".

Wellington Reboots

You can't pin a Wellington rap on Terry, although you could run every stadia story in the world with tenuous connection to which we may respond.

DCC comparison

I do hope Dunedin ratepayers do have a click on ratepayersreport.co.nz to see how Dunedin lines up with other NZ cities.

Time for a reality check

Anyone can find out the truth about stadia if they Google "Do stadia make money".  Hundreds of examples scattered round the world show that the public development of stadia for the benefit of professional sport is viewed by many analysts as a world-wide fraud.  Whether it is for baseball in the USA or rugby here in New Zealand, the fact is that like most major projects, the costs are minimised, the benefits over-emphasised, and the operational costs are far greater than projected.  The beneficiaries are nearly always the owners of the professional teams.  It is time for people to wake up.  In NZ, if rugby wants new stadia, or upgraded stadia, let them pay for them or the upgrades.  Time to get a reality check.  Just why should a ratepayer be expected to contribute substantially to the profits of the NZRU or their off-shoots?

In the meantime, Mr Davies would be best advised to start sorting out the misleading statements from DVML as to the Hedderwick saga, and considering the wording of apologies to those whose reputation has been impugned. 

Stadium madness everywhere

I understand the Wellington Cake Tin is already in serious financial strife and now they are investigating getting a roof like our own at FSB? The Wellington Phoenix want to leave and build a Stadium in Petone and has anyone ever seen Super 15 games at this ground? It is always a case of thousands of empty yellow seats. It seems that councils around the land have an obsession with wasting millions in ratepayer dollars on non performing Stadiums. The upgrades to Eden Park cost millions and we all know the trio of Auckland Stadiums are utterly and competely broke. The Auckland Council want the Warriors at Eden Park because they need to limit the losses. The Warriors say, we are staying at Mount Smart, another loss making ground in need of a major overhaul. Then of course we have Forsyth Barr Stadium, the city's financial black hole with its new CEO Mr Davies spouting the same old rhetoric we heard from the previous two. One fled back to Wales, the other broke his five year contract and took up a role in Christchurch. Whilst we saw no return on the thousands spent sending Mr Hedderwick around the world at ratepayer expense, he was right about one thing. He said DVML staff had "an impossible job", and that sums it up in a nutshell. Mr Davies can bluster all he likes, the FSB Stadium will never do anything other than soak up millions and millions in ratepayer dollars.

Don't worry about Wellington Stadium roof

Davies is right, there is no need for DVML to worry about other stadia getting covered.

The roof at the Dunedin venue isn't attracting any more events (only stopped NZRFU removing tests) so the same could be said for other centres who have covered stadia.

For the sake of the Wellington ratepayers, one would hope that the stadium trust there doesn't have to spend all $50,000 to realise what took Dunedin some $11 million to find out.

No doubt someone in Wellington will argue that their team will do it differently and Dunedin do it wrong.  Kind of like the arguement that throughout history communism hasn't worked because it wasn't done right, but this time... 

Confession time for The Toaster

'At the end of the day, if we get our act together, if we get in shape, we'll be competitive in the marketplace.' ( Terry Davies)

And this just about sums up the reality for the Toaster. It is toast. Three years running, in its prime, and it is already a turkey. 

Not sure what bigger fish there are to fry,but it is never likely to be bigger than a sprat. 


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