Got no Money? Let’s Build a Stadium!

Really good article here on Stuff about the Dunedin Stadium and how Auckland and Christchurch are thinking of building them as well!

A few choice excerpts:

The prospect of yet more glittering new stadiums being constructed by ambitious city fathers – as being debated right now in Christchurch and Auckland – is being met with scorn by some in Dunedin.

They speak from the experience of the saga of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, a building that has left a city divided and its ratepayers facing vast debts.

A covered stadium was a grand concept for a city of just 125,000.

Now it’s been built, there remains debate on quite how much it actually cost.

Its creator says it came on time, on budget. Some critics argue double that. Dunedin council engaged consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers to give them a figure, and explain any blowout.

Since it opened last August, only two major non-rugby events have been held: a gig by Elton John, and the 150th birthday celebrations for Otago Daily Times publishers Allied Press.

Neither paid a stadium hire fee. In June 2008, two major concert promoters had told the D-Scene newspaper what should have been self-evident: Dunedin was too small, remote and student-oriented to provide the sales base to attract big-name acts.

Garbutt believes it would be most sensible to mothball the stadium.

Exarcerbating Dunedin’s precarious finances is that while the stadium was being built, the city also upgraded sewerage, the town hall, the Regent Theatre and the Otago Settlers’ Museum.

“In hindsight, you wouldn’t do them all together … we already had enough capital spending on our plate,” says Cull.


Yep, a real winner.  And we’re thinking of building another couple…