Football: All Whites to play in Dunedin

International football is coming back to Dunedin with confirmation the All Whites will play their final home World Cup qualifier at Forsyth Barr Stadium next month.

The March 22 fixture against New Caledonia will be the first time the national team has played in the city for 25 years.

A win in the Friday night match will provide New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert and his charges Oceania's place in the intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed Concacaf (North and Central American) nation in November 2013.

A draw would leave the All Whites needing a point four days later in the Solomon Islands, while a win for New Caledonia would see them draw level with New Zealand with a game to play.

"Anything is a possibility but nothing can be taken for granted in World Cup qualification," said All Whites coach Ricki Herbert.

The match is the first football international at the indoor Forsyth Barr Stadium, and is the first time the All Whites have played in Dunedin since 1988 against Australia.

New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh said Dunedin was long overdue to host a high profile All Whites match, with other venues around New Zealand hosting key matches in the recent past.

"New Zealand Football is committed to playing matches around the country. We've already played All Whites fixtures in Auckland, Christchurch and now Dunedin."

The city was also the venue for New Zealand's first international when it played against Australia at Carisbrook in 1922.

"Dunedin is noted for its love of sport and 'scarfie' population," McKavanagh said. "In bringing this crucial match to Forsyth Barr Stadium, we're hoping to see supporters from the region get out en masse and support the All Whites as they chase a berth at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil."

Several of the Herbert's potential All Whites will get an advanced look at the venue when the Wellington Phoenix plays the Melbourne Heart at Forsyth Barr Stadium on March 3 in the A-League.


Soccer at stadium

@stevepf: The last soccer match I saw at the stadium had the lights on, AV screens in operation and the pathetic venue PA was in operation (sort of). So you can compare the soccer with Super rugby.

And you are correct, you cannot compare any sporting event, not even Super Rugby, with the cost of putting on a major concert.



Venue fee

@QsRC. The Highlanders/Otago rugby teams do pay a venue hire fee, as you stated. However, that fee is not a fixed dollar fee, it is a percentage of the actual gate takings for the day. As pointed out in the comment you were referring to. The NZRU takes 100% of the gate takings and then gives a fixed percentage back to the ORFU. The ORFU takes a handling fee from that amount, and than gives the remainder to the venue operator as a hire fee for the day. That's the agreement you are referring to. The percentage paid varies, depending on the type of match. For an Otago match, it is around the 10% fee, as cited. From memory the gross figure is nearer to 15%, but the 10% figure is more realistic after the handling fee has been deducted. For a Highlanders match, the fee paid is about 20% of the total gate takings. The only time that a fixed flat fee is paid is for a Tri Nations match or for a Lions test match. The fee paid for those matches is $100,000. All the above information is available from the NZRU website.

Comparing apples with oranges

Mike you can't compare Phoenix prices to Super rugby or Elton John as the ticket prices don't need to cover anything except for bums on seats. There isn't the lighting, AV screens, electronic branding etc as all are day games, and don't require the sound system, staging, lighting etc of Elton John. Hardly strong comparisons to make.

Another twist in the tale

As Stevesone57 has noted here all the stadiums are broke. One must ask the question of the council's bankers as to how the loan for the new stadium was ever approved.

When you apply to a bank for a loan, do you not have to show some sort of business plan to prop up the merits of your application? Could their bankers not see that this was never going to be a solid investment for the money they were about to loan out? The ratepayers could clearly see this and that's why most were against it. This application would have never been approved to anyone else so why was it approved in this instance? [abridged]


Reasonable ticket prices

QsRC: the $99 price was the one I see right here on this page - if a regular season pass only costs $175 it's still cheap at twice the price - you kind of make my point for me - increasing that to $300 so that rugby is paying its way in the community is not a great imposition, again a whole season of rugby is still less than one Elton John concert ticket.

If you read back through what I said I calculated these numbers by saying that every person at a game has to pay about $17 each extra per game for DVML to break even - it's not a lot, the price of a couple of good pints.

The actual contract between the ORFU/Highlanders and DVML is a secret, what little we know about these contracts is that the NZRU takes the gross and doles it out to the unions and the venue, we've been told that the typical claw back is 10% nationwide. If as you say the contract is different and that DVML is getting a fixed amount, then all the better, after all  we need to increase that fixed amount by the amount that DVML is losing on rugby games for them to break even - that still works out at an average $17/ticket however DVML gets paid.

An honest correction

@Mike how come you haven't mentioned any of the following:

Platinum season passes @ $280; Gold season passes @ $210; Silver season pass @ $175; Take a kid to the Highlanders @ $225; How come you didnt mention the $99 mates rate season pass is limited to on 225 passes?

You didn't really think every single person at a game was a $99 pass holder did you? Then try to pass off stats based on that?

Only 10% of ticket sales go to DVML? Where did you get that stat? The Highlanders and Otago team actually pay a set annual "rental" fee not a ticket sales percentage. Hire fees based on ticket sales are used for one off events like Elton John etc not ongoing tenants. [abridged]

A correction

Let me follow up that last posting I added in the ITM and Highlanders prices together - the Highlanders $99 season ticket really only needs to go up to $218 for DVML to break even (assuming that DVML gets all of the increase, ie. the NZRFU passes all that increase back to them)  - yes it's even more reasonable that rugby fans pay the actual cost of using the stadium than I thought.

Paying your way

Sam: read what I just said - I proposed that rugby pay the actual costs of their use of the stadium - I have proposed closing the stadium in the past, but largely as a negotiating tactic to get rugby to realise that the world doesn't owe them a living.

There's no reason why the rugby stadium can't turn a profit if the people are prepared to pay the costs of their use - look at the ad running to the right of this column, it's insane - the Highlanders are offering a 'mates rates' $99 season ticket - for what 7 games? - $14 a game - we know that DVML gets roughly 10% of the gate once the NZRFU is done with the money - so they are getting a piddly $1.40 a seat per game - is it any wonder they are losing millions a year?

We know that DVML needs to make about $3m more a year - they get ~20,000 to Highlanders games and ~5,000 to a similar number of ITM cup games - that's  roughly 175,000 bums on seats through the season - divide that into their loss and we see that they need to charge ~$17 more a seat to break even, you'll spend more than that on beer - that $99 season ticket really needs to cost ~$300 which is not an unreasonable amount  for 7 games - people pay that amount for tickets to single events like Elton John, and rugby is more important right? You can afford it, there's no reason why little old ladies on fixed incomes in pensioner cottages in South Dunedin should be forced to subsidise your fun.

Same old

And what would you suggest Mike? Scrap the Stadium all together would be my guess. I'm not going to debate about the ins and outs of the funding for this project because it's such mindless exercise which would go on for ever.

In the end it is here to stay. The All Whites is a massive coup for Dunedin and will be enjoyed by tens of thousands of people and your endless barrage of comments against the stadium will not change that.

Maybe you should go along. You never know, you might enjoy it.

Pay your way

Sam: why should the rest of us continue to subsidise the profits of professional sport, or of the local hospitality sector year after year - this continued sense of self-entitlement is sickening.

The solution is quite simple, you have a couple of easy options - charge enough for tickets to cover the real costs of the for-profit sports events - or tax the hospitality sector to cover the costs - if as you say they are making "millions of dollars", then they will still be ahead on the deal and will gladly pay up to increase their profits. There's no reason for continuing to tax the ratepayers to subsidise for-profit sport other than the aforementioned selfish self-entitlement.

Constant negativity

It incredibly painful that every time there is an announcement of something happening at the Stadium it is followed by a barrage of negative comments.

Usually from the same 6 or 7 people.

People also need to realise that even if the event is not extremely profitable directly to the Council, the influx of people pumps millions into the local hospitality sector.

For goodness sake, get over yourself and enjoy these events for what they are.

Where do we look?

And exactly where can we find "the costs to run the stadium this year"?

All Whites at Stadium

Any time the stadium is being used it is good news. Sadly the reality is that it falls millions short in terms of rate payer contribution to return.

Eden Park is broke, Mount Smart is broke, North Harbour Stadium is broke,  Sydney Olympic Stadium is $147 million in the red, Jade was $47 million in the red prior to the earthquake. Stadiums are not a usually profitable unless they are filled week in week out eg: The MCG, Old Trafford, etc. We simply don't have the population to sustain or pay for the running of the stadium. 

The facts speak for themselves, look at the latest report on the costs of running the stadium for this year, it is about as ugly as it gets. Keeping losses to a minimum is the most we can hope for so any additional activity at  the stadium is welcome.



It is good news about the All Whites, assuming that the city doesn't lose money on the game. If only we could get rugby to do the same and pay their own way and not cost us an arm an a leg every time they use the stadium - maybe we could just shift it to soccer only and save us a lot of money on all those rugby losses.

How much?

'Long overdue' it may well be, but how much will they be paying for the use of the stadium and its facilities?

About time

I can't wait, it has been 25 years overdue. Make no mistake, if we did not have this stadium, Dunedin would never see an All Whites match again.

Great stuff....

Oops, I mean booo! shut the stadium! how much will this cost!

Hmmm got to be a way somehow to blame rugby for this shambles!


Nice earner for the stadium and ratepayers

That's good news about the All Whites isn't it!