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Forsyth Barr stadium reports $1.9 million loss

Wednesday 9 May 2012 4:14 p.m.

By Samantha Hayes

Dunedin’s new Forsyth Barr stadium has reported a loss for its first six months.

Stadium critics are saying ‘we told you so’, but agree Dunedin is now stuck with it and must make it work.

A loss was expected, but nothing on this scale; Forsyth Barr stadium's $1.9 million loss is a cost that will hit ratepayers.

“Where we’re not succeeding is those very large entertainment events and internationals,” says chief executive of Dunedin Venues Management David Davies.

The All Blacks aren’t back at the stadium until September and there are other issues:

  • Corporate membership has flatlined
  • The Rugby World Cup didn’t pay rent and took all proceeds from food and merchandise sales
  • And while Elton John was a success, Forsyth Barr missed out on other big concerts like Rod Stewart

Mayor Dave Cull has ordered a full review of the stadium’s operations.

“We know that there is a cost, we know the risks are high so, because the risks are high, let’s optimise the value,” he says.

But even the stadium’s critics admit they are stuck with it.

“You can’t make it work as it, all you can do is reduce the immense losses that it is inevitably going to produce,” says city councillor Lee Vandervis.

The venue is already forecasting a $1.4 million blowout for next year.

The stadium’s construction was touted as being on time and under budget, but an independent financial audit due on Friday is expected to reveal an overspend in the millions.

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