Scrummage at Carisbrook as auction proceeds

Carisbrook Rotary Project chairman Brendon Bearman (left) and Taieri Rotary Club president Bruce...
Carisbrook Rotary Project chairman Brendon Bearman (left) and Taieri Rotary Club president Bruce Cockroft remove a seat from the Rose Stand at Carisbrook yesterday. Stephen Jaquiery.
Carisbrook continues to pull the crowds.

Sports fans have been scrummaging for a piece of history since a sale of memorabilia and fittings from the old ground was announced in the Otago Daily Times on Saturday.

''We've been struggling to keep up with the interest. We've been getting inquiries from all over New Zealand,'' Carisbrook Rotary Project chairman Brendon Bearman said yesterday.

''We've had lots of individuals and quite a few sports clubs inquiring about the seats. People want the wooden seats for the back of the garden - a nice rustic bit of Carisbrook for home.''

The auction is a combined fundraising project by the nine Rotary clubs in Dunedin, Mosgiel and Milton with the goal of making $1 million.

The Taranaki Synthetic Turf Trust inquired yesterday about buying up to 1400 seats for an Oceania hockey tournament being held in New Plymouth in late October.

The Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell also inquired about bulk seating.

''Someone from Ashburton was asking about the goalposts. 'How tall are they? Do they come apart?','' Mr Bearman said.

The $5000 reserve had already been met for the goalposts and the $500 reserve for the Rose Stand turnstiles yesterday.

The Dunedin City Council sold the site to construction company Calder Stewart for $3.5 million last month.

As part of the deal, Calder Stewart will receive a $200,000 refund if the buildings, apart from the hospitality complex, are demolished within six months.

''We've only got till July 28 to complete the project and get everything out before the demolition starts,'' Mr Bearman said.

''We've certainly got a couple of big weekends ahead of us. But we've got the manpower and volunteer time to do it and it will be a great legacy for Dunedin.''

Grass from the in-goal area is being sold in 400mm by 400mm wooden boxes for $100 and out-field grass for $80, while the Otago-coloured blue and yellow seats from the Railway and Terrace Stands are being sold in singles and rows for $25 a seat.

The wooden Rose Stand seats are being restored as $500 garden benches by Cargill Enterprises. The first two benches sold for $2000 each at an Otago Amateur Rugby Charitable Trust dinner at the Edgar Centre on Friday night.

The Neville St turnstile building, which has a New Zealand Historic Places Trust category 1 classification, and an adjacent 400sq m area have been gifted back to the council for a proposed ''pocket park''.

The All Blacks played every major test-playing nation at Carisbrook between 1883 and 2012, when it was superseded by Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The auction opened on Trade Me last week.

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