Centre could play host

Dunedin's Edgar Centre could play host to an organised Undie 500 event for up to 3000 students if next year's rally goes ahead, but only if there was evidence the behaviour of troublemakers had improved.

Edgar Centre manager Russell Lundy said yesterday he would be prepared to discuss such an event with the Canterbury University Engineering Society (Ensoc), organiser of the Undie 500.

However, an agreement to host an organised event would require "a big change of focus" from those caught up in trouble stemming from the annual rally from Christchurch to Dunedin.

"It's going to take a huge change of attitude for a lot of people," he said.

Mr Lundy confirmed he had been approached by Christchurch-based Innerwink - an event management company - about staging a rock concert at the centre for this year's rally.

Innerwink had been engaged by Ensoc to arrange the concert, which would have featured New Zealand rock band the Feelers, he said.

The event did not come to fruition as organisers ran out of time to provide assurances about how alcohol would be sold and tickets distributed, Mr Lundy said.

Without the assurances, the offer was withdrawn because the centre needed to ensure there was no disruption to other users already booked for the weekend, he said.

That included netball fixtures and the morning's 2500 competitors gathering for the start of the Dunedin marathon, which had been booked almost 12 months in advance, he said.

Mr Lundy spoke to both Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin and the University of Otago's proctor about staging an event, and both had said to proceed if it could be safely managed, he said.


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