Stadium members tempted in tiers

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 10:20 21/12/2013
Wellington aerial view, Westpac Stadium
Dave Greenberg/Life Flight NZ

STUNNER: An aerial shot of central Wellington taking in the harbour, Westpac Stadium and two cruise ships.

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Foundation members who renew their stadium memberships at Westpac Stadium will receive free tickets to Cricket World Cup matches held at the venue in 2015.

A total of 2600 stadium memberships were sold for $13,500 each in 2000. They reserved a seat for the holder (or nominated deputy) to attend all sporting events at the stadium, except for World Cup-type events.

Holders also had access to club lounges.

The memberships' 15-year term expires at the end of next year.

Foundation members are now being tempted with three tiers of membership, some with discounted prices.

Each tier has two, three and five-year term options.

Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon said the stadium would buy Cricket World Cup tickets to give to renewing foundation members.

"This has been very well received, particularly given their experiences during [the] Rugby World Cup."

The most expensive package on offer is $7500 for a five-year 360 Reserve membership, similar to the existing package.

The 360 Reserve members and those in the next tier down, called The Balcony which excludes access to rugby games, can also buy a Privilege Pass starting at $500 a year.

The pass holder is entitled to invite a friend who has purchased a ticket to an event to join them in the club lounges.

The cheapest membership is the two-year Select Reserve pass at $1950 which includes a reserved seat in the stadium and access to all club lounges. It excludes access to rugby matches.

Non-foundation members would be able to apply for any unsold memberships after March, but not at discounted prices.

Harmon said a survey among members found flexibility was a key to renewing memberships, which is why two, three and five -year terms are on offer.

"We have also found over time that many members preferred the sanctuary of the lounges rather than reserved seats.

"So we are meeting that need in offering members the choice of a lounge-only membership or a reserved seat in the bowl."

Harmon said many members signed up in 2000 for altruistic reasons as much as the membership experience.

"Proud Wellingtonians from all walks of life wanted to see the stadium built, and for many this was their financial contribution to make that a reality."

Harmon expects the renewal to be more focused on the different product options, pricing, the event calendar and the overall experience.

"Many of our foundation members are scattered around the country . . . and are 15 years older than they were in 2000 so we will [also] be seeking to attract new blood."

While foundation members may now live outside the region, member attendance at the stadium remains high.

"For this year's Bledisloe Cup [rugby test between the All Blacks and Australia], for example, we had a 94 per cent turnout which is a fantastic number for a 14-year- old membership programme," he said.

Harmon said revenue from the membership rollout would ensure the stadium remained one of "the few financially autonomous venues in the region".

It would also help fund future stadium upgrades.

THE SCORECARD

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The Evening Post in 1999 outlined events likely to be hosted at the stadium during 2000 to 2015. Stadium boss Shane Harmon outlined how accurate the predictions were:

An event every two weeks - Achieved with actual event days of 575.

15 to 20 All Blacks tests - Achieved with 28 tests.

90 concerts - Failed with just 25 concerts/non-sporting major events.

90 NPC fixtures - Honorary achieved with 88 matches.

100 to 130 days of cricket - Failed with just 38 days (although members get reciprocal rights at the Basin Reserve).

Rugby league tests - Achieved with five matches.

Every five nations team hosted at least once - Achieved.

Every major cricketing nation hosted at least once - Achieved.

International rugby sevens tournament - Achieved with 32 days.

Women's cricket and rugby - Achieved.

Plus not on the 1999 list:

Football - 108 matches.

Super Rugby - 80 matches.

Exhibitions - 139 days.

Club Rugby - 17 matches.

NRL - 8 matches.

Aussie Rules - 7 matches.

 

- The Dominion Post

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