An evening of rugby under cover at Forsyth Barr Stadium, catching up with friends, meeting some new people, having fun, a fast-paced exciting game, a win to the All Black and a safe trip home, for all of which I’m grateful.
Economists generally agree that stadiums don’t make profits.
I am not equipped to argue against that but, profitable or not, Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr stadium is making a huge contribution to the social life and economy not just of the city but the wider region.
South-bound traffic was bumper to bumper on State Highway 1 through Oamaru on Thursday as people from Canterbury headed to Dunedin for Ed Sheeran’s first concert.
Traffic heading north and east to the city were just as busy.
The ODT reported on a city full of people enjoying themselves, and spending up large through the weekend.
North-bound traffic was bumper to bumper as people headed home yesterday and businesses en route benefitted from travellers who stopped.
Riverstone Kitchen, north of Oamaru and a few kilometres on the right side of the Waitaki River, is always popular with locals and travellers.
But this Facebook post shows how busy it was this weekend, owing in no small part to concert goers stopping on their way to and from Dunedin.
Easter Weekend – 5 record breaking MAMMOTH DAYS!
Here’s a few stats for you:
38kg Coffee used
over 1/2 tonne of potatoes
25 staff with an accumulated 916 hours worked
2420 people eating in the restaurant ( plus many more takeaways we didn’t count)
312 litres milk
and 218 Hot Cross Buns (sold on just 1 day!)
We hope you all had a good weekend and got to relax a little more than we did. . .
The building of the stadium attracted a lot of critics, some still argue against it. They may have grounds for their criticism.
But when the stadium has a show that attracts visitors numbering more than half the city’s population and their spending benefits many businesses en route as well, the optimism of those who backed it is vindicated too.
How many 70 year-olds could keep an audience of mostly 50+ in age on their feet for an hour and a half?
Rod Stewart did it at Forsyth Barr stadium last night when most had already been dancing during James Reyne’s opening act.
Rod gave us all the old hits, a few lesser known songs, sensational lighting and shared the limelight with the musicians and backing singers too.
It’s a pity the photo doesn’t show his stunning shoes and leopard skin socks.
Dunedin’s Octagon was a sea of black with a very few splashes of red and white before last night’s game.
The sell-out crowd at the Forsyth Barr stadium was also showing its true colours were mostly shades of black.
Before the kick-off the mood was buoyant. The crowd quietened somewhat as England scored the first points and by half-time with the score at 10-6, with the All Blacks behind, there was a fair degree of nervousness.
However, it looked like a different team in the second half and when Ben Smith touched down for his first try as an All Black in front of his home crowd, and put the ABs in front.
He’d been equally as impressive in the first half with sprint half way up the field which ended in a try-saving tackle.
Tries by Ma’a Nonu and Julian Savea followed and with minutes to go the score was 28-27 but England managed a late try.
The All Blacks have already won the three-match series, the Steinlager Cup and the Hillary Shield.
But if this is the second-string English team it was described as before the tour, the All Blacks have a lot of work to do.
They won’t be wasting time admiring the silver-ware, they’ll be preparing for another hard test next week.
And that one won’t be played in nearly as good conditions for the teams, or spectators, as last night’s thanks to the stadium roof.
The Otago Food Wine & Music Festival is being held at Forsyth Barr Stadium Dunedin on Saturday November 23.
If you like the Facebook page and share the post on the contest before midnight tomorrow you’ll be in to win a double pass:
Win a double pass to the Festival. LIKE our page AND SHARE this post to be in the draw to win a double pass to the Otago Food Wine and Music Festival. Closes midnight Monday 28th October.
Music – Jackie Thomas, Benny Tipene, Tom Batchelor, Jody Direen, The Chills, Matt Langley, Kylie Price and others.
Enjoy scrumptious Otago wines, and gourmet food, on the pitch at the Forsyth Barr Stadium. November 23rd from 12 noon.
Tickets – Adults $49, Secondary School Students $25 (Ticket Direct).
Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr stadium wasn’t universally welcomed and mumblings about its cost to ratepayers continues.
But yesterday the city was buzzing and a near-capacity crowd enjoyed a wonderful game of rugby there in comfort.
It was a mild evening but even so it was probably the first time most of the crowd had watched a test in Dunedin in shirt sleeves.
The roof climate-proofs events and that matters this far south.
Rugby was the winner last night but the stadium is used for a variety of other activities which are much more enjoyable for being held under cover.
Among these is the Otago wine and food festival which will take place at the stadium on November 23rd.
Economists say that people putting the case for stadiums overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs.
But not everything can be measured in money.
Dunedin isn’t feeling very positive at the moment but the stadium is a bright spot which brings locals together and attracts people from other places too.
The Otago rugby team and the Ranfurly shield they won were welcomed back to Dunedin last week by a crowd of 1000 and a banner reading: “Welcome Home, Mr Brown’s Boys”.
The province has celebrated but coach Tony Brown and the team have been focussed on something more important than celebrating the win – retaining the shield.
. . . There is no point giving up the trophy in week one after having waited more than 20,000 days to have it. The first week has been a great ride and no-one wants to jump off so quickly. . .
Forsyth Barr Stadium has been renamed Tony Brown’s place for the occasion.
We were at Carisbrook when it was dubbed Tony Brown’s place for a Super 12 final in 1999.
Unfortunately the Highlanders weren’t able to beat the Crusaders that day.
All my fingers and toes are crossed that the party at Tony Brown’s place this afternoon when Otago defends the shield against the Hawkes Bay Magpies, has a much happier outcome.
Alwyn and I have a bottle of Otago or Hawkes Bay wine of the winner’s choice on the results. I’m happy to accept the same wager from others who doubt Otago.