Hotel and car park vision for Dunedin stadium

A hotel could be built at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium as part of an ambitious development taking the South Island’s premier stadium to another level.

A multistorey car park, a sports bar overlooking the ground, commercial office space and revamping the stadium entrance are other key elements of the proposal.

The plan has been pitched by Dunedin Stadium Property Ltd, which owns Forsyth Barr Stadium, and it is now up to developers to present their ideas about how they can foresee realising that vision.

Land at the site could be either sold or leased to project developers.

The internationally branded hotel would be built "as a high priority, as soon as is practically possible", an information memorandum about the proposal says.

There would be no cost to ratepayers from the development, which would be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Hotel proposals in Dunedin have sometimes foundered, including a waterfront project that was scrapped in 2014 and failed bids in the central city.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said other proposals had come to fruition and the city council supported looking into whether there was commercial interest in developments at the stadium.

The memorandum highlighted events at the stadium were a major driver for commercial accommodation across the city, but frequent shortages during big events had forced attendees to "travel as far as Queenstown to find overnight accommodation".

"There’s certainly pressure on accommodation when there are major events on," Mr Hawkins said.

It would be positive for the stadium to have a hotel in the precinct.

Advantages of a similar concept were evident in Southampton, England, when New Zealand won the cricket world test championship in June, he said.

The final was shifted from London to the Rose Bowl in Southampton because the venue was more suitable amid Covid-19 restrictions.

Development of the hotel is expected to coincide with a rebound in tourism nationally and, as well as providing accommodation for people involved in events at the stadium, it could cater to visitors to the nearby University of Otago.

Expressions of interest for the stadium project close on August 31. Dunedin City Holdings Ltd chief executive Keith Cooper said project partners would have a better idea at that point about whether they were confident the dream could be realised.

Dunedin Stadium Property Ltd is part of the Dunedin City Council’s companies in the Dunedin City Holdings Ltd stable.

The project could cement Forsyth Barr Stadium as the premier stadium in the South Island, Mr Cooper said.

It would boost the covered stadium’s appeal for event promoters, strengthen conference capability and provide employment.

"These opportunities are at a very early stage.

There is significant work and due diligence to be undertaken and any transaction will be subject to Dunedin City Council’s approval as shareholder."

Project partners are keeping an open mind about the scale of both the hotel and car park.

It is envisaged the hotel, office space and sports bar would be on the northwestern part of the site, next to the Water of Leith.

The stadium entrance would be redeveloped and expanded.

A multilevel car park would be on the southeastern side and have access to Anzac Ave and Ravensbourne Rd.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Terry Davies said the project would ensure Dunedin remained a preferred destination for major events coming to New Zealand.

An expanded range of products could be provided.

The ambitious project was announced shortly after the planned development of a covered stadium in Christchurch was scaled back.

Christchurch will press ahead with a stadium plan seating at least 25,000 people, after most city councillors there decided a trim was necessary because a 30,000-seat design could have put the project overbudget by up to $131.4 million.

Forsyth Barr Stadium can seat more than 30,000 people for sports fixtures and up to 39,000 for concerts.

The stadium is promoted in the documents as the best venue in the South for large-scale special events such as major expos and concerts.

Events hosted there had generated more than $300 million in visitor spending in the past nine years.

Stadium development

  • Internationally branded hotel
  • Multistorey car park
  • Expanded stadium front entrance
  • Sports bar
  • Commercial office space



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I hope this is going to be budget accommodation for those in need!!

For the council, or a council-owned enterprise to get involved in something like this when the city infrastructure can't cope with the population as it is, well it's just bloody madness to even suggest it. Yes, council and companies bosses will say, "well look at how great the Stadium turned out" if it hadn't been for Christchurch being levelled by an earthquake, I doubt whether the many of the big events would have been held here.

If a private developer wants to take the risk, the council should be right behind them granting consents and assisting however else they can ... they are not there to spend ratepayers' money on multi-storey hotels, they are there to make sure essential services are available to its ratepayers.

Unfortunately, they have been sadly lacking in some areas, but always seem to get away with it. Maybe it's time for the ratepayers to start protesting a little more loudly at some of the hairbrained schemes the council deem "essential to the city's growth".

I'm not opposed to a hotel being built, but without any costs being put onto the ratepayer some are suffering enough already.

Please stop! Christchurch has beaten us with its better global connections, larger, richer population and a large dollop of government funding. Do not throw any more money away on this doomed project. Just face reality, will you?

Quote: "Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said other proposals had come to fruition and the city council supported looking into whether there was commercial interest in developments at the stadium."
As a world class medicinal cannabis growing facility? Combined with knowledge and skills from the Uni, the Green Stadium would finally turn a profit with a sideline in fibre production for the clothing industry, getting us away from synthetic fibre. What a great idea Aaron, for once you have some vision for the city making money instead of spending money.....good 'green' thinking mate :)

What a great idea. Dunedin has been in desperate need for accommodation prior to covid and its needed for when we return to normal. I hope it will be a combination of 4 and 5 star which is where the demand is! If a commercial provider cannot do it the DCC should take it on - I am a ratepayer paying a lot each year you have my vote to use some of my rates on this for sure. The Stadium has been a huge success and the vibe it brings to the city is a reflection of Dunedins positive can do attitude. All the nay stayers and sticker brigade who wanted to stop the stadium with their stickers failed and time they move on. Love it and finally that green mayor has said some common sense

You must have been in an isolation tank for a while, the stadium has been a major financial flop. Used a few nights a years, not much bang for the buck, at around $300 million. A mediocre piece of thinking at a not so mediocre price, and maintenance. An airline has to fly a similar priced A380 for 20 years, daily to get their money back. So that is good contrast.
For a relative small amount, we should be looking at sorting out current and other attractions for the city of heritage rather than anything to do with that white elephant, such as getting Dunedin Railways, a world unique attraction completely sorted out, for starters. It did more dividends for the city for decades than the stadium ever did. There were other heritage attractions in the making that have always been thrown out. Again mediocre, inside the square thinking.

Its not all about the money Pukeko its about having a heart as a city to provide the public with enjoyment, engagement and a progressive modern city that can do something different and new for the benefits of its citizens and neighbours. When you say its used 3 times a year I think you need to recheck your research and then buy a calculator. The beer fest over 2 days and one All blacks game = 3. Now lets not forget the other AB game, Highlanders games, Otago games, concerts, and events, home show, University events, corporate box usage for events, even the test championship trophy was on display Sunday there and yep even William and Kate checked it out. Oh that's right thats a total of 3. It pumps Millions into the city each year and while that doesn't all go to the Stadium check out the research for how much is spent in this wonderful city especially when a big concert is on. Its enormous - $10's of Millions. A great price at $300M via a progressive council back then today It would be over twice that. Its rare to hear of a distractor these days so many people love the stadium. Pukeko put the tea cosy back on the teapot, geta fresh sticker that reads "Stop the stadium" oops to late

A few nights a year is progressive? And mostly for 40 ball kickers chasing a bag of wind around a pitch, I'd rather watch paint dry. Instead of putting tea cosy on the pot like you infer, having traveled worldwide, I saw far better things we could be doing than pandering to that boorish rugby one track mindedness, and even thinking outside the square. What a waste, bowling over Carisbrook, most of it 15 year old buildings instead of retain. Christchurch put trams back, and within 5 years it paid for itself, as well as being a visitor attraction. we could have done the same with cable cars, or a gondola way up Mr Cargill, the steamship Te Whaka. As for your rugby beerfest comments, hand in hand we often see what types that appeals to, with the smashed bottle mess the next day.
You say there are few detractors, well there seem to be a few on this thread alone. We need attractions that run daily year round, not just for a select bawdy group that obsess with ball kicking then often get violent when we lose.
As for all the other events, we already had or have venues for those, I saw Dragon/Sharon O'Neill at the Brook, it went better since there was no roof to garble the sound.

"there would be no cost to ratepayers". Good one, we heard this promise when the stadium was proposed, and it was totally funded by ratepayers.

Big Al - I don't consider the stadium being used 1/2 dozen times a year and even struggling to pay maintenance or the interest on the loan, let alone paying back the capital a success.
Proud to be a naysayer on this one.

All we need, another poxy modern building. Why not think outside the square for once? Maybe if agreed upon, the Bring our birds Home Boeing 747 could be brought over, trucked in, in pieces, reassembled. The use of retired jumbo jets as hotels etc has escalated worldwide, as they are iconic, and most eye catching in such a surrounding, and you get something fully quake compliant. not to mention this is saving history, our link with the outside world that is now closed off. The aircraft are fast vanishing to scrapyards due to covid. The asking price the the plane, is a small $2.5 million, plus just the costs of work done inside. Peanuts compared to a new building.

Good comment, and not just iconic, a great example of repurposing at a fraction of the cost. And if we want to do something else with the site in the future, easily dismantled and sold off. And yes, many new buildings are exactly that....poxy.

Thanks, yes it's very popular in other places. Many have also become novel conference centres, cafes, restaurants. You get what effectively becomes a structure with lots of floorspace, well insulated, at a fraction of the cost and it's more than quake compliant. This one was perhaps more famous worldwide since it wore the Lord of The rings livery, so it's heritage value will literally soar on many facets. But could such imagination befit here? Here was the proposal a few months ago.

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