Venue's crowd capacity could be raised

The manager of Dunedin nightspot Sammy's should find out today, just hours before New Zealand band the Phoenix Foundation takes to the stage, whether the venue can host up to 700 people.

Sammy's managing director Sam Carroll said the finishing touches were being added to new automatic heat and smoke detection systems yesterday, and he hoped to have the systems signed off by Dunedin City Council staff today.

That would allow the venue's capacity to be lifted from its restricted limit of 250 people to about 700 people, he hoped.

The venue was closed on March 19 after fire safety concerns were raised, but was allowed to reopen - with its capacity restricted to 250 - after improvements made to lighting, exits and staff training were approved on April 9.

The venue is also home to Mr Carroll's Big Ups inflatable games business, which reopened the same day.

Yesterday, council chief building control officer Neil McLeod said an inspection of the venue's new automatic systems was expected today.

"The wheels are in motion," he said.



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