Will you be going to the Paul Simon concert at the Stadium?

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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.


Average price and cheap seats

"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 equation.

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 popular.

Ahhh. No

I would say I would be better of as the council would'nt keep increasing my rates to cover the losses that every event would generate

Topsy knows it's real

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?

Over state it to get your point across even if its wrong

@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 silly.


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 air.

That's what's wrong with our city

@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.

750,000 on the season

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 $500k. 

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.  

Rates revolt

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.

embarrassed by mentality

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 that.


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, etc.

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.


Of course rent is the killer

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 ?

That's our plan

@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

Go on then

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.


Profit !

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.

It's a bit of a concern...

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!

Long live the Stadium!

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?


Rent is the killer

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. 

Proved my point

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.

Not a profit, a loss

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 that go?

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]

Events mean income

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 ratepayers.

Still don't get it

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? [abridged]



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 rugby there.


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 it.

A sorbet

@speedfreak. Not sure about accusing folk of being on stuff. These days, I just take a sorbet. That's not got much lemon in it.


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.

Max max max

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 :outstanding success" 


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.