Catering staff no-shows annoy stadium boss

More than a third of the catering staff did not turn up for Saturday night's Highlanders game, leaving Forsyth Barr Stadium boss David Davies disappointed.

The Highlanders beat the Crusaders 27-24 at the stadium, the first time it hosted a Super 15 match, but Davies, the chief executive of Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, said he was not happy with the way the stadium had performed.

"We have got some staffing issues around catering and had an incredibly high number of staff no-shows. Whether many of them did not find it attractive enough to come along and work for us we will have to look at," he said.

"We will have to have a good talk with our contractors and see what has happened."

Davies said 35% of the 400 catering staff employed to work at the stadium had not shown up, and that had led to difficulties in delivering service.

The corporate suites had to wait for service and there were lengthy queues at some food and beverage outlets.

Davies said the staff who did not turn up were of various ages and were not all students. The work was at irregular hours but he had to ensure people turned up to work.

Along with the staff not turning up, Davies said it was disappointing there was an issue with the stadium clock at the end of the match.

The clock did not include time for stoppages during the game, leading to confusion at the end of the match as the Highlanders twice kicked the ball out thinking time was up.

Taylormade Media boss Ian Taylor took responsibility for the mistake with the clock, and Davies said it obviously could have been done better.

He said there were about 300 single tickets not sold for the match on Saturday night, so it was not quite a sell-out.

With the ground nearly full, there had been suggestions the Otago Daily Times stand at the western end of the stadium could be used.

Davies said only if the team made it to the playoffs and hosted a game was there a possibility the temporary seating at that end would go up.

It cost $30,000 to put the seats up and took eight days, so it was a big undertaking. The seating would be used for the test between the All Blacks and South Africa in September.

The Highlanders host the Waratahs at the stadium on Saturday night and Davies said early indications for a decent crowd were encouraging.


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