Action at Forsyth Barr Stadium during the Newcastle United
against Sydney FC Football match on Tuesday night. Photo by
The man in charge of Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium has
declared the clash between English Premier League team
Newcastle United and Sydney FC a ''brilliant'' success.
However, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Terry
Davies is refusing to be drawn on whether the company running
the venue covered its costs, after earlier agreeing to
underwrite the fixture.
Mr Davies told the Otago Daily Times he was happy with the
crowd of 9506 that attended the clash on a bitterly cold
An initial analysis of ticket sales showed the crowd included
a strong contingent from outside the city, with only 58% of
tickets sold being bought in Dunedin, he said.
The rest had been bought mainly elsewhere in New Zealand,
while overseas fans travelling to Dunedin for the fixture -
mainly from the United Kingdom, Australia and Asia - made up
9% of the crowd, he said.
That meant the total number of international fans attending
Tuesday night's match was on par with last month's All Blacks
versus England test, despite the rugby fixture drawing a
crowd three times the size, he said.
He put the international interest down to the ''fanatics''
among the Newcastle United fan base, ''who just follow them
''It's like a religion, isn't it? It surprised us a little
bit when we saw that stat.''
The clash also attracted valuable international media
exposure for the city and the venue, and the community had
benefited from travelling fans' spending and public
engagement events, including a skills session staged on
Sunday, he said.
However, with the stadium's 2200 members offered free entry
to the game, the total crowd figure pointed to a paying
attendance of about 7500.
Mr Davies had previously said DVML needed to sell about 9500
tickets to break even, on top of members, after agreeing to
pay an underwrite fee to the Wellington Phoenix club, which
organised the Football United Tour.
Last night, Mr Davies said the cost of members' free entry
had been covered by DVML, which had always been planned, and
he was happy with the total crowd size.
However, he would not be drawn on whether DVML covered its
costs, saying the exact details were ''commercially
''It was a great event, the hype was great, the publicity was
brilliant, everyone was happy, more people flew in from
outside and there was more money spent [than expected] ... it
was a fantastic result, but I'm not commenting on profit or
''This is about economic impact and the city being seen on a