October date for Bledisloe Cup test

Steve Tew
Steve Tew
Bledisloe Cup rugby returns to Dunedin next year with confirmation the city will host the third match in the three-test series.

The game between Australia and New Zealand will be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium on October 19 - the first time the old foes have met in Dunedin since 2001.

The match was announced by New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew yesterday as one of seven domestic All Blacks tests in 2013.

Mr Tew effectively confirmed the game for Dunedin in March following the announcement of a bail-out package for the Otago Rugby Football Union.

Part of the NZRU deal to keep Otago going was for the stadium to get two category A tests over the next two years.

"I know Dunedin will ... be looking to build on the success of the South Africa test this year when they host the All Blacks for the second time at the magnificent Forsyth Barr Stadium," Mr Tew said.

The test against the Springboks in September boosted the Dunedin economy, with businesses reporting rugby fans increasing the turnover in bars, restaurants and retail outlets up to 400%.

DVML chief executive Darren Burden said he was pleased the stadium was awarded the match on the back of the Springboks test.

He was expecting another bumper crowd to fill the stadium in October.

With the addition of 450 seats in the Otago Daily Times stand, the number of seats available would be 29,255, which was probably the largest crowd for a sports event at the stadium, he said.

Discussions on when tickets would go on sale would take place over the next few weeks.

DVML had come to a favourable financial arrangement with the NZRU, and with venue hire covering the stadium's operating costs for the event, DVML would take a percentage of the revenue from the match, he said.

"This will be one of the more profitable events at the stadium."

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull welcomed the test match and said he expected it would bring even more people to the city than the South Africa game did.

ORFU general manager Richard Kinley said it was great news for Otago and even more special that the game was the last of three Bledisloe matches.

"That could be the one to play for - it could come down to the wire."

 

Mean?

'Autonomouse'  (the name speaks volumes) you display all the arrogance of youth. Oh but time is the great leveller, would that you be lucky enough to enjoy your old age, but just don't bet on it. [abridged]

Poor old pensioners

If you've worked for 47 years, lived through the bouyant baby boomer economy and havent put enough pennies aside to cover an additional few dollars for an increase in your rate account then I have zero sympathy for your plight.  If they can't afford their rates, they should sell their houses and live off the proceeds as they have no one to blame for their current situation but themselves.  I dare say they're reaping the ratepayer benefits of bus services, library usage etc more than most.  Cry me a river! 

Youth doesn't last

Autonomouse: When bars are faced with rate increases, they increase the costs of drinks. The average pensioner can't afford to go to bars - or stadiums, for that matter. Many pensioners struggle to pay electricity and medical costs, and they can't afford extra costs for rates.
Would you like them to go without food just so a selfish few can watch a ball being kicked around a stadium? Don't forget you can't avoid getting old and becoming one of those poor old pensioners.

No way out.

There is indeed no way out. We are lumbered with the huge debt and just have to pay it off. We can raise rates, cut core services, cut spending, or sell assets - or do a combination of them all.
We just need to not increase debt by spending more on what is largely responsible for a growing debt. The stadium.
Unpalatable as it seems, we need to actually consider closing the stadium before it bleeds us financially dry. Naysayers to this possibility are living in an unreal world. Those who live on credit and can't pay, lose. Not the creditors.
The trouble is the council has the lucky, final calling card in calling in debt when the pressure is put on them. Who pays? You, the ratepayers, of course.

 

Very munificent of you Kris

However, could you clarify for us please:
- What the offered "skills" were?
- Were you offering to provide your "skills" for free?
- What replies you received from Messrs Davies and Cull?
- Was your offer genuine and constructive?

 

There is only one way out of this mess

Gift the stadium and the debt to the university and shut down DVML. The ratepayers will be happy to forgo what we have already paid and will save more without having to fund yet another council owned company (DVML). Win win all round.

Deaf ears

3 or 4 years ago i offered my services and skills to dave davies when he first took charge.  

Then I wrote a letter to Mayor Cull letting him know what my skills were and still no interest.

Now they want ideas - may I suggest that they really don't want ideas on this and are happy for the rugby union to come around and buy the thing for a cool million while the ratepayers pay for it in the coming years.

More old boy woolly thinking. 

Sigh!

As if a couple of rugby matches late next year are going to fix the rut we are in. No matter how much spin the pro stadium people create, the facts remain unchanged: At the current and projected rate of inflation, the reliance of the stadium on ratepayers money is not realistic. We can only keep bailing them out on the premise of raising rates for so long. In a couple of years Dunedin is going to have a lot of other bills to pay, bills from things that are being neglected at the moment. The few pro stadia people are failing to acknowledge this fact and making jokes about it. Are these people really from Dunedin? Do they really care about the prosperity of Dunedin?

 

Rating contributions

Those rate payers benefitting are indeed paying more, a quick seach of the DCC website reveals the likes of the Craft Bar contribute over $16k pa to the council coffers and it'd be a reasonable assumption that other retailers and hospitality providers do in fact pay a considerable sum more than the "poor old pensioners" that we are exepected to exhibit sympathy for.

Trickling where?

cyberjab: I won't say there isn't some trickledown - I've gone further - after all I've said we should levy higher rates against those it's trickling to

But I don't think that the money that trickles into our economy is as nearly as much as the torrent that flows out to pay for the stadium - after all the vast majority of the people who go to the stadium are from Otago all the stadium is doing is moving money from one part of our economy to another, not balancing the huge outflow to Aussie banks and sound companies, Auckland construction firms, overseas acts, or the NZRFU.

Most importantly the money is not trickling evenly to the people who are paying the rates - how is it trickling at all to the pensioners on fixed incomes faced with ever increasing rates bills?

Tell it like it really is

guadalajara: I would have been much happier with the question: "do you want to spend half a billion dollars of rates to build a stadium for a private for-profit business?".

The city did do a telephone survey prior to that, back when we were being told that the stadium would be funded with private money - then only slightly more than half of use were against it.

Leading question

We keep hearing the 78% "against the stadium" figure. From memory, the survey question was along the lines of "do you support public funding of the stadium?". I remember thinking what a leading question that was. Human nature would suggest that the majority would always say no to that question. A more appropriate (less leading) question could have been "if non-public funding is unable to be secured in order to build the stadium, do you support public funding of the stadium?". If this question had been posed I would imagine the % against would have been considerably lower. My point is that surveys, if not carefully administered, can be misleading. This would seem to be the case here. 

A small point

Caz: Thanks for listing all the things we've had here, or are pending. However, I must take issue with you regarding the 'circus'. Anyone who keeps an eye on goings-on surrounding the stadiumc will know that it's already here; has been for some time, in fact.

I agree

The stadium is neither 'good' nor 'bad'. What was, 'bad' however, was the unrealistic way it was funded. Had it been a gift to the city from a billionaire and if it could cover its running-costs as well, I might have been all for it. The sneaky way it was brought into being, over the protests of almost 80 percent of the population, and the way strings were pulled to bring that about, are the downside. But even if the decks could, somehow, be cleared of all debt tomorrow, and the stadium stood debt free, I have little doubt that given the organisational, administrative and other skills displayed thus far, it wouldn't be long before it was back 'in the red', again.

And, just by the way, the word 'vibrant' is doing the rounds yet again. You have been warned.

Yes, I did stand

And I say now what I said then. Remember, at the time of the last elections the construction had already started, based on the Chin council's assessment that the stadium was going to earn the city millions. Like many others, I had presented to the annual planning session, pointing out that the forecasts were false and could not be achieved.
I do not intend to stand next year and have no political point to make - except to issue a plea for the city I love. It is easy to point out what's wrong, and I have done so often. But we have reached the point where we can't just moan - we have to take action.
There are outstanding brains in this city and I would like to hear well-reasoned suggestions from them. Does the city need to ask for Government assistance? Does it make any sense to mothball the stadium or give it to the University? Can we afford to turn it into a community asset like the gardens or library - and accept that we must fund it for years to come?
I don't know the answers - I just know the problem won't just go away on its own.

 

One way street

If everyone refuses to accept the greater idea of an economy and are determined to talk about the "trickledown effect" as fiction then there really is no point carrying on

I have made the concession, as someone who originally wanted it built, that it should not have been. I did this by actually listening to what others had to say and realising that to be incapable of understanding another’s view would be hugely arrogant... I guess this is a one way street

 

Two things that must be remembered

1) The stadium was built against the wishes of most of those that will end up paying for it.

2) Nothing that ever comes here will return a profit to the ratepayers.

Cyberjab: To bring the Brook up to international standard would have only cost 5-10 million and would have been a much better bet than 3-4 hundred million for a new one and at least may have been sustainable.

Mikestk: You have hit the nail on the head. Most games will only attract around 5000 just like they did at the Brook. There is just too much rugby these days and the novelty has worn off for many.

Caz: No were not lucky. None of the events you have mentioned have returned a profit and will not in the future either.

No, try again

Didn't the 'Brook do what our new stadium does, except it had capacity for over 40,000? Some of the arguments forget exactly that, and when the money we paid to get test matches runs out in 2013 we will be left with what? That's right - debt.

Carisbrook never had a fixed capacity over 40k, maxed out at just over 40k when there was the full terrace and with loads of temp seating, normal capacity was 29k, regardless, it had been stripped of cricket and rugby test status because the facilities were so poor...so, no, try again.

Versatility

Hey Caz - few more things to throw in the mix:

ASB Premiership soccer with Otago United. A-League Soccer with the Wellington Phoenix x 2. Young Farmers National Finals. University Orientation and Re-Orientation. Masters Games. Oh and don't forget the NRL sides that are coming to town.

Of these things mentioned only the ASB Premiership would have ever used Carisbrook - and even then only with crowds well under 1000.

Personally I enjoy the rugby along with a good proportion of the Otago population. Can anyone identify an event or sport in Otago that regularly draws the crowds that rugby does?

Why?

guadalajara: Is that because it doesn't have room because people are too lazy to stand these days? Or is it because in a town of 120,000 it's pretty much impossible to find 40,000 people who actually want to go to the rugby these days? 

40,000 capacity?

Not since test tickets were $20. Get your facts right, folks.

Arn't we lucky

We are so lucky to have our Forsyth Barr stadium, and of course it is soooo multi purpose. We've had the Rugby World Cup and Elton John and rugby. We've had the Sunday stadium markets and rugby. We're going to have a rodeo soon that has been banned in most civilised societies and  rugby. We're even going to have a circus soon  - and let's not forget that we have  have rugby there. 

We had Carisbrook

Didn't the 'Brook do what our new stadium does, except it had capacity for over 40,000? Some of the arguments forget exactly that, and when the money we paid to get test matches runs out in 2013 we will be left with what? That's right - debt.

Favourable for whom?

Darren Burden is quoted in the article as saying 'DVML had come to a favourable arrangement with the NZRU, and with venue hire covering the stadium's operating costs for the event'. (Well spotted 'Topsy', by the way).
Nowhere, as far as I am aware, does it say 'favourable for whom?' So far, most events have proved 'favourable' only for the promoters, otherwise the events wouldn't have come. See the advantages of having us over a barrel!

Lesser (make it work)

Could be wrong, didn't Challispoint stand with Greater Dunedin in the last elections? Wonder if the 2013 elections are on the agenda with this their latest comment.

A great stadium that's not great

I think it is easy to focus on the stadium as the problem. It's not - its a great stadium and we are lucky to have it in Dunedin.
What is a disaster is the way it is funded - both the capital cost on the on-going running costs place an unsustainable pressure on our economy. The reports which were used to justify the funding models were wrong - and remain wrong.
The stadium is not good for the local economy when every event costs more than it earns. We saw from the RWC that the city council spent a million and got no income and the actual measurable electronic spending in the city went down for the weekends of the events. Tourism bed days in the region went down.
Having said all that - I do agree with the DCC that we have to find a way to minimise the damage. I urge everyone to have their say on the stadium future because the council doesn't seem to have had many bright ideas themselves so far. We can't afford to just moan - we do need to make changes.

 

Trickle-down fairy

Lettuce: You have obviously been sprinkled with fairy dust from the trickle-down fairy, but the rest of us are not so sure the stadium is such a fabulous 'asset' since it is costing us millions just to sit there empty. Which makes you wonder, who benefitted from it being built?

negativity

Even a big test won't make some people happy. I think the stadium's great, my kids do, my friends do, and I am happy to pay rates for it.

It promotes the city (imagine how many people we have the opportunity to promote Dunedin to in Oz around this test), brings people into the city, brings money into the city, and puts money into the back pockets of many many people, including many students and kids working part time, and getting extra hours on those big weekends. And it's more than pubs/cafes and accommodation -big categories that people overlook are supermarkets, retail shops, petrol, convenience stores, takeaways. Sure some of the profits may leave town for corporate businesses, but they are still paying wages to people here in town.

This tiny minority should pay their way

Cyberjab: most of us don't own bars, restaurants or hotels - only a tiny minority of us make a profit from the stadium, the rest of us pay pay pay - sure this is good for the Chamber of Commerce crowd, but not for the 99% of the ratepayers.

The same goes for using the rugby stadium, we know from the DCC that only 30% of us have used it in the past year, the other 70% are subsidising them, by a whole lot, every time they pass through the gate.

If the bar and restaurant owners want the stadium to stay open they should volunteer - so far we haven't hear a peep out of the Chamber of Commerce asking for more taxes. It's always easier to rifle someone else's pocket than to do the right thing and pay your own way.

[Abridged]

Not convinced

What's the problem then Cyberjab? if  you agree that the stadium should not have been built then why are you against political and fiscal accountability of the unsustainable business plan that was pushed on Dunedin people. That sudden 'turn around' does not make sense. If you recognise the business plan is so dire why are you not adding your voice to damands that the stadium stakeholders put away their grasping hands and give the promised private funding to the stadium that they wanted? Our demands can only make the stadium more fiscally fit, rather than than just continue to throw funds at it as seems to be your plan. And it is an easy thing to suddenly be, in hindsight, against the stadium before it was built, now that is is built. Are we supposed to take your word for it ?