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.And not just in Dunedin, there are those of us here in Christchurch who are also meeting the idea of a new stadium with scorn. As has been noted a number of times on most of the economics blogs here in New Zealand, stadiums are not economically viable. As I have noted before, economist Dennis Coates, writing at the Sports Economist blog, puts it this way: the
[...] evidence that sports franchises and stadium and arena construction generate large impetus to economic growth and urban development exists only in the minds and reports of consultants to sport franchises and their rent-seeking employers.The Stuff article ends by noting,
Vandervis mentions Massey University academic Sam Richardson's paper "Oasis or Mirage", which studied the impact of Wellington's Westpac Stadium and concluded it had no long-term impact on the local economy or employment, and that stadiums were usually unprofitable.Read the whole article and if you live in either Christchurch or Auckland take up the fight to stop your council from doing something really stupid.
Both Chin and Brown see the stadium as a catalyst for Dunedin's revitalisation, and say new plans for a five-star hotel on the city waterfront show it's already having an impact.
But Dr Richardson says expectations for the stadium were "off the mark" and it would never be an economic stimulant.