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I dislike lumping local rugby supporters into one basket that
says pay up for the stadium (via higher ticket prices and
private fundraising efforts), or else!
Like all rugby supporters are responsible for the DCC's
decision to build the stadium? No, of course not. They
represent a wide cross-section of society and can't be held
accountable for the actions of a few in positions of power
who have seen through the project. The council acted against
all available advice that questioned the proposed stadium's
viability - paid for and freely offered from national
agencies and economists well able to back their professional
positions on the matter.
Thus the astronomical embarrassment of the debt-funded
stadium (no private sector funding received, confirmed by PwC
audit) and current loss-making operating conditions (alone
costing close to $20 million per annum) - the dire effects,
in combination with other capital projects running in
parallel, all for lack of council diligence and prudent
conservative money management as required by law.
Last thing anyone wants to see is local people - rugby
supporters or not - being continually gouged as the result of
lousy, blind and offensive decisions by elected
representatives and salaried staff.
"I've attended the majority of games at the new stadium and
it's never cost me $20 once!" says QsRC, deducing that
therefore Mike's claim that "average price paid is closer to
$20". Oh dear, someone's maths teacher just didn't get
the message across! Average means that when you add up
all the prices and divide by the number of tickets the answer
is about $20. So if 10 people paid $100 [= $1000] and
10 people got free seats that would be [$1000 divided by 20]
$50 average. (Simple figures to illustrate the method. I
don't mean half the seats were really free.)
But then there are cheaper seats to take into the
calculation, the discounted ones for some paying customers
such as students, beneficiaries and children. So some
adults pay the highest price, other seats are bought by
people who pay a much lower price, and some people get free
seats. Now re-calculate (if you can get the
figures) putting the full price and low prices into the
Sometimes the free seats are distributed via media
competitions. Sometimes they are given out by
management and others closely associated with the venue or
the event. Some may be given as a charitable gesture to a
disadvantaged group, with associated media coverage. When it
looks like there will be an embarrassing number of empty
seats it works in their favour to have those who genuinely
paid to attend, saying afterwards that it was very
I would say I would be better of as the council would'nt keep
increasing my rates to cover the losses that every event
Topsy observes, "I would have heaps more money if I didn't
have to pay rates on my house or pay for my electricity and
telephone.... The stadium would make a huge profit it if
didn't have to pay for anything that it uses." But
unlike Topsy, when the stadium does not pay, when the
people who use the stadium do not pay, the ratepayers have to
because the costs do not go away.
Look at costs that DVML must have to spend putting on each
game: ticket takers, cleaners, security, insurance,
electricity and so on. I remember seeing, probably in
the ODT, a visual depiction of all that (about 6 months ago)
that showed that 1000 people are hired for a big rugby match?
So the $75,000 that Steve says is income from each match
needs to be reduced by these costs. How much, well to
start with how about $50,000 before (CEO of stadium) Mr
Davies or Mr Burden? That looks like 15 big rugby games
before Mr Davies's salary is paid for and the stadium
income can start paying for the rest of DVML, rates
included. Of course not having to pay rates, and
getting handouts from ratepayers would be a great help to
Topsy, and I'd like a piece of that too - what do you mean,
the rest of you can't afford that and you think we should
manage our own costs of living?
@Mike, you state Dave Davies stadium salary was $350k. No it
was not his salary was upto $250k remember "up to". So you
over state that by 30% and then understate ticket prices
by 50%. Whats next what else did you make up?
Here it is black and white for you:
Get it right or just don't bother otherwise you look
What do you mean? "We know that the average price paid is
closer to $20 so I would query your figure"
Ive attended the majority of games at the new stadium and
it's never cost me $20 once! Your "facts and stats" are about
as reliable as the free tickets to all events that are
given away by the truck load myth.
Stop making assumptions and generating the stats from thin
@speedfreak43 - you really want this to fail and cost you
even more money just so you can be proved right? I suspected
this is the case for a lot of people but to admit it! The
stadium will only fail because of people like you so you
should point the finger at yourself.
The stadium made $750,000 on the rugby events not one game,
(aproximately 10 games) from tickets and hospitality. They
made $350,000 on the test which had 29,500 people at it. All
of the facts and figures are well documented in the ODT. My
point is that the events are profitable so sound reasoning
would say more events means more income.
I do agree that the salary paid to the managers is over the
top. Even cutting two positions would bring the cost down by
My argument is that I believe there are two problems. Not
enough events, and staff being paid too much. Cut 500k from
the salary budget and bring 1-2 big concerts a year along
with a range of smaller event. If we can do this then we
could bring the finances around by $2 million a year, and
then everyone will be happy.
I don't think you understand what I am saying. Event days are
profitable. This has been proven. Non event days are not.
The simple answer, more events events mean we will be able to
get closer to breaking even.
I'm not sure where the 19 million loss comes from at all.
Once again a figure plucked from the sky.
We tried that but didn't seem to help much. Not enough people
prepared to stand up for what they believed. Same reason alot
of concerts don't make it here. Most are usually cancelled
prior due to lack of pre bookings. Seems that's just the way
we are in Dunners.
speedfreak: Max may be surprised but I disagree - I don't
want the stadium to fail, I frankly don't care, what I want
is for the city to be on a sound financial footing so it can
focus on real important issues like want happens if the St
Clair/Kilda sand continues to recede, or how to raise the
half billion dollars the DCC says we need to spend on our
water infrastructure over the the next two decades.
So I want a real resolution to the stadium financial
disaster, I want to see rugby fans pay enough for their
tickets that the DCC isn't subsidising their seats, I want
those same rugby fans to raise the private fundraising they
promised us and the people really profiting from the stadium
bars, restaurants and hotels to be taxed at a higher rate to
recover some of that income to help pay down our huge debts.
I see closing the stadium, or the threat of doing so as a big
stick the council can use to finally get the rugby
crowd off of their backsides to man up and make good on their
previous commitments to the community.
speedfreak: If the stadium closes you will still continue to
pay high rates until it's paid off. You statement shows a
mentality in this city I am ashamed of, and to be honest I
would be surprised (and appalled) if even MikeSTK, EJKerr and
other anti-stadiums took a stance as blatantly disruptive as
Steve: So DVML pays $4m a year to rent a venue that has a
$20m mortgage repayment and you think that it's too much?
DVML lost $6m last year and you think that getting them to
not pay their rent will mean that they will make a profit?
Who will you get to pay their rent instead - the ratepayers?
Max: closing the stadium will not throw away $225m - that
money has already been thrown away. The problem we have is
that opening the stadium costs more because its main user -
rugby - is too cheap to pay enough - you said they made
$750,000 on a game that had 20,000 people at it - that would
be $35 each for tickets. We know that the average price paid
is closer to $20 so I would query your figure.
But let's pretend that they really made $750,000 from ticket
sales- now that money doesn't go to DVML - instead it goes
directly to the NZRFU, who we are told pay about 10% of it
back to the venue operator ie DVML who therefore nets $75,000
a game. Now Mr Davies who ran the stadium through last year
was paid $350,000 a year - that means it took between 4 and 5
big rugby games just to cover his salary, there's a staff
there of what 10 people or so? I bet they average at least
$75,000 each - that's maybe 10 more big rugby games they have
to hold to cover their salaries, but then there's the
insurance, fertiliser, grass seed, maintenance, advertising,
You can see that hypothetical $750,000 a game is not enough,
not even in the ballpark - they need to make probably twice
that for DVML to be even close to breaking even - so rugby
ticket prices are too low - instead of the average $35 that
your number implies is being paid they really need to be
closer to an average of $70.
It's the killer for all of us. I would have heaps more money
if I didn't have to pay rates on my house or pay for my
electricity and telephone. Unfortunately, life doesn't quite
work that way. Someone has to pay for the services that my
property uses and that someone is me. The stadium would make
a huge profit it if didn't have to pay for anything that it
uses. Very true. Maybe we should all try that ?
@Max power: We are hoping that it will fail, even if it is in
the end, at our expense. It would give great satisfaction to
all those that knew this was a bad idea from the start and
may stop the same fatal error being made by others. Even
better would be the egg on the faces of those that thought
they knew better. Just can't wait for that accountability
Close it, go on then!
We could all enjoy council spending on the gasworks museum,
protecting those beautiful empty wharf sheds, don't forget
those lovely South Dunedin buildings and let's rejuvenate
Caversham, oh the fun we will all have.
No council, whether it's for or against the stadium, is going
to close it. The people of Otago won't let them, I feel you
would quickly see just how many pro stadium people are out
there if closure was threatened.
Put away those calculators boys, like I said, it's here and
it's staying open.
Max power we have seen your logic used before, thats how we
ended up in this mess, you obviously haven't been paying
attention again. The latest reports tell us it lost 19
million last year if you include all costs, but you believe
what you want, it's making a profit.
One thing evident from this thread, a lot of people have no
idea how a business operates. Nor do they understand the
words profit or loss. Bit worrying, hope no-one here runs
their own business. Amateur economists are out of control!
What a wonderful venue, Dunedin is so lucky to have it! I
hope it keeps some people awake at night worrying about it. I
hear Timaru is on the hunt for some new residents....... Or
how about Invercargill?
Mike they have to pay $4m in rent to the DCC. They would be
very close to, if not making a profit if these exorbitant
costs weren't put on them.
My point is that if we get more events like Paul Simon then
we stand a chance to break even. The figures have proven that
the event days are extremely profitable, therefore every
event missed is a profit missed. I'm not saying that the
stadium is making a profit but that event days are. If we can
make a profit of $750k from only 10 days, imagine what we
could do from 20 or 30.
We should be saying well done for getting Paul Simon rather
than picking faults with it. Closing the stadium will be
throwing away $225 million and statements like that don't add
anything to the debate. The stadium is here to stay and love
it or hate it we need to make it work.
People such as speedfreak43 boycotting the stadium to prove a
point are simply derailing any future events. If people stay
away just because they hate the stadium events will fail and
it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and the haters become
the ones who cause the city to lose millions.
While the current ORFU/Highlanders contracts are secret (why?
it's not like there's a competing rugby union in town, or a
competing stadium - there is no commercial sensitivity here)
- but we have been allowed to see the initial contract that
the ORFU and DVML signed - in it the ORFU gets 'pour rights'
ie the right to make money from the beer - DVML gets nada.
A 750,000 income is not a profit - you have to remove the
costs before you get there - same way the All Blacks test did
not really make a $350,000 profit, you have to cover all the
costs of running the stadium, including on all the days that
it's closed between events, insurance, employees, grounds
upkeep, cleaning the seagull poop off the roof, security,
electricity (the city subsidises the water and sewerage).
Ask yourself - if you think that DVML made a profit on what
it did last year how could it have reported it lost $6m -
your numbers don't pass the simplest of sanity tests- where
did your profit go? and $6m more to make a loss where did
An empty stadium costs money, a closed one costs a lot less,
it means we don't have to pay for the employees or as much
upkeep, we can let the seagull poop accumulate, the grass
grow long or die off, vomit will not accumulate in the
toilets, etc etc
A closed stadium would finally put the pressure the rugby
community to start raising the private fundraising they
promised, and to start paying enough for their tickets so
that rugby games would turn a genuine profit for the city
rather than you purely imagined one. [abridged]
It's more like every event not held at the stadium costs us
money. The stadium can make a healthy profit from the bar and
hire charges so the more events the better. It's well
documented that from one season of Rugby the stadium made a
$750,000+ return on event days. So therefore logic would say
if they can run more events they will make more money.
The All Blacks test made a profit of $350,000 so if we were
to get one or two more events of this size, plus half a dozen
events of 10-20k the the stadium would start to break even.
An empty stadium loses money, so events like Nitro Circus,
The Hollies, The Warriors and more will relieve any burden on
Do you Max? It's fine having all these events if they make
money for the city. They don't. Some in hospitality may make
extra but every one of these events still run at a loss to
the city. What is it that you don't understand about the fact
that every event held is putting the city further in debt?
Max: "the stadium has made a healthy profit from rugby" what
a load of cobblers - the rugby stadium makes a huge loss on
rugby - I believe that the ORFU and Highlanders have claimed
small profits on rugby - but the stadium, through DVML its
operating company, has made a $6m loss - let's get this
straight - the stadium is run by the city, not by rugby, the
city also owns the thing, and sadly also owns the debt.
If you're suggesting that somehow all the other things that
happen at the rugby stadium other than rugby are the cause of
that loss then we better just stop holding them and only have
So, by speedfreak's definition, every stadium on the planet
must be a "lemon".
Let's close Wembley, The MCG, and the Maracana while we're at
@speedfreak. Not sure about accusing folk of being on stuff.
These days, I just take a sorbet. That's not got much lemon
I'm not talking about the money side, although the stadium
made a healthy profit from the Rugby and stands to make a
return from Paul Simon. The haters just can't seem to say
well done when we get a lot of events like we are at the
moment. We are spoilt for choice in Jan, Feb and March this
year. Motorsport, show jumping, concerts, Rugby, League,
Soccer, O-week, Markets, Stadium to Surf... the list goes on.
Smells more like sucess than lemon.
It's a lemon because every event is a loss to the ratepayer.
And it's the ratepayer who is paying the bill.
Whatever your on must be really good if you see this as an
Why would you call the stadium a lemon? In terms of the venue
itself it is one of the best in the world. It is a world
class arena that is the furture of medium sized venues. It is
attracting large crowds that Carisbrook couldn't. For
example, the Higlanders average crowd last year was upwards
to 20,000 but at Carisbrook it was closer to 5,000. It
is being used for a wide range of events on a regular basis.
As a venue it has been an outstanding success. Just because
you choose not to attend any of the events and are therefore
not aware of what's happening doesn't mean it's a lemon.
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