Dunedin City Councillor, Lee Vandervis, has responded to the report on the ODT of planned $9.1 million spending on the Stadium:
YOUR story “Planned stadium funding of $9.1m” (ODT, 30.1.13) for annual operations is shocking enough, but that is not all of it. There is also the $1,666,000 stadium differential rates reduction, the annual $1,050,000 service level payment to DVML (supposedly for operating the $40 million upgraded Dunedin Centre) and the uncountable hours of DCC staff time diverting millions to “make the stadium Work”. Unfortunately the stadium is not a Worker but a bludger.
If we really want to reduce the rot, We must get rid of the directors, security staff, fat guarantee maintenance contracts, parking staff, insurance policies, ORFU freebies, usher staff, corporate sweeteners, ticketing staff, the turf, grow lights, mowers, turf staff, fertilising, Watering systems and weather station, and bring in an artificial turf, dropped Wall skirts, and the volunteers that used to run Carisbrook. Elton John’s supposed $14 million economic impact was half local ticket sales, with Elton and production crew paying no rent and taking the other halfback out of Dunedin in costs. As the Massey authoritative research on We1língton’s Westpac Stadium concludes: “The vast majority of research into the economic impacts of sports stadiums and franchises fail to find any evidence of positive contributions of professional sports teams or stadium construction to employment, Wages/salaries and economic growth”. The operational millions now thrown annually at the stadium are simply entrenching an unaffordable cost structure for a stadium that has no Wider net economic benefit to Dunedin. Slashing operational costs as above is necessary to allow regular Stadium use.