Masters Games falls short of forecast but still in the black

Photo from February's Masters Games in Dunedin. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
The New Zealand Masters Games fell shy of its forecast 5000 participants and will post a deficit, although numbers grew again from 2016 levels.

The event remains in the black so organisers will not ask the Dunedin City Council to underwrite it.

A report to the council by games manager Vicki Kestila said the 2020 New Zealand Masters Games, which began in February in Dunedin, attracted 4785 competitors, an increase of 272 participants from the 2018 Dunedin event.

The "significant turnaround" of a 6% increase in participants could be attributed to a targeted marketing campaign aimed at local entries, she said.

Held yearly, the event alternates between Whanganui and Dunedin.

In 2014, the Dunedin event attracted 5379 participants, in 2016, that number fell to 4499, in 2018 it grew to 4512 and again this year it grew to 4785.

This year the event had a $74,977 forecast deficit but holds retained earnings of $105,465, she writes.

Revenue from registration fees was less than forecast as the forecast was based on 5000 entrants, but the report shows $320,615 in registration revenue, alongside council funding ($190,000) and corporate sponsorships ($104,500) as the largest revenue earners for the games, now in their 31st year.

Dunedin residents made up 42.8% (2049) of participants; and 12% (572) came from the rest of Otago. Cantabrians (13.9%, 665 participants) made up the biggest share of visiting participants.

Australians (3.1%, 149 participants) made up the largest overseas group.

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