Bar pays to be Barmy Army HQ

A Dunedin bar has paid to be invaded by British cricket fan club the Barmy Army and become its official headquarters for five nights next month.

The Terrace Bar duty manager Kelly Gillian said the Barmy Army approached the Octagon bar with an offer to make it its official headquarters, in return for a cash payment and bar tab, when the England cricket team plays the Black Caps in a five-day test match in Dunedin.

The bar would be opening earlier and closing later and would serve English food and play British music and staff would dress in a British theme, he said.

''It will be like a British St Paddy's for five days.''

The bar would host an opening party on Tuesday, March 5, and an exit party on March 10 and would have extra security working during the period, he said.

The cost to secure the rights and the exclusive use of the words ''Barmy Army'' for marketing was confidential, he said.

''But it's an amount you'll get back,'' Mr Gillian said.

The Otago Daily Times understands the bar paid the Barmy Army $5000 and included a $2000 bar tab.

Mr Gillian said Barmy Army members would get subsidised drink prices.

If the five-day test match finished earlier than scheduled, the army would stay in Dunedin for the same amount of time, he said.

''These guys will just stick around and drink.''

Eight hundred Barmy Army members were registered for the tour of New Zealand, Mr Gillian said.

The Terrace Bar owner John Macdonald said the size of the bar and the Barmy Army's need to be ''fed and watered'' was ''a good fit''.

The bar had a capacity for 350 patrons, he said.

The owners of Ra Cafe & Bar, Alibi Bar and Restaurant and Stuart St Brew Bar told the Otago Daily Times they were not approached by the Barmy Army to be its headquarters. The Barmy Army website said it was the United Kingdom's largest organisation aimed at helping cricket fans support the England cricket team.

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