Dunedin Venues Ltd reports net loss

MIKE HOULAHAN
Last updated 11:22 01/11/2012

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Opponents of Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium have received fresh ammunition for their contention the controversial venue should never have been built, with the release of its first annual reports.

Dunedin Venues Limited - the Dunedin City Council-controlled entity which owns the stadium - reported a net loss after tax of $4.311 million.

Dunedin Venues Management Limited, created to run the stadium on DVL's behalf, lost $3.2 million in its first year.In its report, DVML noted it had ''had its fair share of challenges'' but hoped there would be growth in stadium usage next year.

''There are difficult challenges facing the company in meeting the requirements of operating the venue and meeting its financial targets,'' it said.''

DVML's revenue of  just over $6m was spent on the rent it paid DVL to use the stadium ($3.667m), wages and salaries ($1.959m) and other expenses.

The stadium hosted 40 events in the arena, 120 meetings, 55 dinners, 18 conferences and 18 miscellaneous events.

In its report, Dunedin Venues Limited said the company remained watchful for any defects in the new building due to anticipated heavy use.

''The stadium will require considerable investment in capital improvements in the future, and this will require the company and the city to further consider the funding arrangements for the stadium.''

Bev Butler - former head of protest group Stop The Stadium - was not surprised at the results.

''The way it was set up, it was always going to fail,'' she said.

Butler feared the city would ''continue to throw money'' at the stadium in an attempt to make it viable, rather than consider other options.

The DCC has already expressed disquiet about the ongoing expenses of the stadium, and earlier this year it launched a review the operation of the venue.

That review was opened for public submissions last week.

''I welcome any ideas, and we will consider all of them as we work to ensure the stadium is used to its full potential,'' Mayor Dave Cull said.

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