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Speaker: Students vs Dunedin

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  • Paul Campbell,

    Actually in the US the stadia are often owned by cities but usually built with the intent of making money or at least breaking even - when things go wrong (like overly optimistic attendance numbers) the city often gets stuck holding the can. They are also usually built with a single tenant in mind - a football team or a baseball team - part of it is the "we're not a real city unless we're have a football team" mindset - since there are a limited number of teams they can play cities off to get the best funding deals.

    I think that having a trust that is given $200M by the various city and regional authorities that's not directly responsible to them would be a bit silly - the current trust's fronted by a member of the rugby union's board of directors - personally I'd like to see the city (and region) get some income from a money making enterprise like this - hopefully to pay off their investment over the medium to long term $200M plus interest over 30 years (back of the envelope calculations follow - lets say say $20M/year - which is about right for a household mortgage) would be the return you would need to make it financially viable - assuming you're filling it with 20,000 people at a time you need to pull in $1000/seat/year so with 20 games a year that would mean $50/seat/event.

    So $50 admittedly back-of-the-envelope, might be half as much, might be twice as much - what does it mean? you can either think of that as the amount they have to raise tickets by to pay off the public if you want to do user-pays (but remember the current union seems to be running at a loss as it can't pay the city what it's currently owed so it may actually be more) or, if not,. you can think of it as the amount of subsidy the city is giving each person every time they attend the venue - this just covers the capital costs of course, not the running costs

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Ben -- Personally, I've always been about Willowbank ice-creams (they're a lot less stingy than most other dairies around the area).

    As for the water, I'm a coffee and wine man, so I don't pay a great deal of attention to the stuff, but I think their 12 year program is now done, so I assume the quality is near much better. Similary, the council is midway through a fairly large capex for sewerage.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 681 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Crusty Demon type events

    Ok Kyle, I have to ask, what the hell is one of the above?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I've never assumed that the stadium would be profit-making if it had to pay off all the money given to it at full interest rate loans.

    But then again, I can't imagine most sporting and recreation facilities in the city would. Edgar Centre, Ice Stadium. I presume the Cricket Oval isn't paying commercial interest rates on any money given to them.

    It's difficult to make any sporting facility work in a small city like Dunedin, it's good that the city helps out through grants, special loans, and just plain investing in sporting assets. Why shouldn't they? The new Carisbrook will be a world class stadium, one of very few rugby stadiums in the world with a roof, it'll bring sporting events into the city, which brings in people, and it'll promote our town to an international audience. The city _should_ be putting in something, the debate should be about how much and how generous the deal should be.

    I'm not sure who the front man that you're talking about is (Malcolm Farry?). But, is that a problem? He doesn't control the purse strings, the trust has put forward a plan, indicated how much it'll cost, and is now trying to convince councils and other places to pay for it. The councils will decide what they want to do with their money, and presumably they'll have their own experts look at it and give advice. Have the trust come up with a bad plan which would never work? Are there backhand deals going to his mates for the work or to buy the land? Not that I'm aware of.

    I'm involved with the Ice Stadium here in Dunedin. The people that proposed that were all from the group that would run it, they developed the plan, the costs, and they approached the city council. Sometimes people asking for money for something they're involved with is just people who work hard for the good of people and our city, and they're asking for the money because they're the ones doing the work, and if they didn't, no one would.

    Ok Kyle, I have to ask, what the hell is one of the above?

    http://www.crustydemons.com/

    It's a motorcross X event with clearly insane people doing backflips and hanging off motorbikes while going over jumps. They're on a world tour. They were at Carisbrook about... 5 or 6 weeks ago? There were about 10 - 12 people there - it was a sell out originally so they opened up more seating. My son loved it. I suffered through it for my love for him.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Er. Umm.

    Where I said 10-12 people there. That's 10-12 thousand. Yup.

    (damn yee non-editing posts. we have been promised, and yet delivery has not been forthcoming!)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Kyle, don't tell me you are not happy with the facilities offered by the Big Chill?!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Kyle, don't tell me you are not happy with the facilities offered by the Big Chill?!

    Aaah, The Big Chill. Ben, I'm sure you'll be disheartened that not only might the DCC contribute toward a new Carisbrook, but that they also contributed toward a new Olympic size ice rink and adjacent curling rink.

    http://www.dunedinice.com/

    NB: I'm not sure how much they contributed exactly.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 681 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    The Big Chill though...boy...that place used to weird me out. Visiting it was like going into a time machine - no eftpos (well they rectified that I think), greasy takeaways, surly staff, and facilities that really had seen better days. I don't know about you all, but I prefer the mildly insincere "have a nice day" approach to the alternate surly "i'm doing you a favour by taking your money" school.

    To be honest I don't really care what the DCC spends its money on anymore, since I no longer live in the city. Personally I'm not generally happy with L.A money being spent on non core things like expensive sporting facilities, given all their other responsibilities (like libraries yes, literacy is more important than sport or concerts), and their limited revenue collection abilities. However I do acknowledge that in most cases they seem to be the only body with the vision/ability to do so. I know the central government would never fund this type of thing for Dunedin, or in fact for any city (although Auckland came close?). So given that there is little alternative for Dunedin then I guess the DCC has to fill this role.

    Perhaps my purist vision of what a LA should do is a little out of date, given the retreat of central government and changing expectations. If things truely have moved on then perhaps the funding model of LAs should be broadened. At least that way I wouldn't need to hear the annual rate increase cry as LAs try to fund their programmes.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Thankfully the Big Chill has been a car repair or painting shop for about three years now.

    I couldn't give you the exact details of what the DCC provided, but my understanding is that they give the Dunedin Stadium at low rent for X years (X is 4 or 5 I think). I believe they also contributed some money towards fixing the building up, improving the insulation etc.

    The actual ice rinks and all that goes with them, was raised from elsewhere. The ice is very good - best in New Zealand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Ben, I'm glad that you see Libraries as core business of Local Authorities :)
    Incidentally, the DCC is, I believe, planning to replace both the main town library and possibly build a new satellite library in South Dunedin

    And to rates. I guess I see them going up every year as "normal", in that year on year, the costs of most things gradually crawls up (except for K-Bars). Since when was 600mL of coke $2.70? And how long ago was it $1.50? Makes it very easy not to purchase.
    Partly I think it is to do with NZ's savings/retirement mentality. You own the house (mortgage free) that you live in and get super. If people also had a block of shares or another income stream, I think they'd get less prickly. Certainly rate rises shouldn't be outrageous, and shouldn't be much ahead of inflation, but it seems unreasonable to expect that they won't rise.
    In Dunedin's case, I think part of the baggage is being the biggest city, and all the infrastructure it (didn't) inherit from the smaller boroughs and councils etc. There's been a lot of money stuck into providing facilities for the rural areas (like libraries on the north coast etc.)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 681 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was thinking about my analysis above and I realise that $50/person/game is a number only vaguely pulled out of a hat from the available numbers - could be larger (less that 20k people at every game?) could be smaller? (lower interest rates?) .... but it's an interesting number to play with .....

    so let's step out of the box a little, let's decide that we want to spend that all that money on Otago rugby .... what if we don't take the risks of cost overruns and attendance possibilities .... instead of building a new stadium we just give $50 to everyone every time they attend a game at the existing venue .... what would be the result? better attendance? more civic pride? ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    So back in Otago for a bit I've taken to scanning the ODT for talk of this stadium, and today's lead article on the ODT delivered. There is much threatening talk from the opponents, including rates revolts, electoral opposition, protest marches, and taking over meetings. All rather salacious stuff really, no doubt spoken in the heat of the moment.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 869 posts Report Reply

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