Thursday 10 May 2012

Stadiums don't pay (updated)

Sam Richardson at Fair Play and Forward Passes continues the sorry story of the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. We now know the financial position of the stadium for the first 6 months of its use.
I'm not one of these 'I told you so' people, but this report can't exactly be described as a surprise (although the extent of the losses are perhaps higher than many would have anticipated) as much of the international experience has been the same. They don't make money. Period. If you cover your costs, you are doing very, very well. Let's just hope that the folks in Dunedin can turn it around - although it is difficult to see how, if they don't attract major events that they were banking on. And they must also hope that cornerstone tenants remain financially viable and can contribute their share of the costs. (Emphasis added)
The Southland Times reports,
The flash new Forsyth Barr Stadium has fulfilled the prophecies of doom with a $1.9m projected loss in its first six months announced today and new projections showing a $1.4m loss in the 2012/13 year.
Other centres were facing similar issues to Dunedin. Most had built stadiums to inject economic life into their areas. (Emphasis added)
I can't help thinking that the obvious lesson from Dunedin is that if you want to inject economic life into your area don't build a stadium.

I just hope that other city councils learn from the Dunedin experience and don't try building grand new stadiums in their cities. Take note Christchurch!

Update: Sam Richardson continues his analysis: F-B Stadium - more of the same

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