Stadium staff incensed by tagging
Thousands of dollars of damageCOLLETTE DEVLIN
Vandals have "redecorated" Stadium Southland, covering it in graffiti and causing thousands of dollars of damage.
ILT Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt said staff arrived at work yesterday to find tags and more than 35 pieces of graffiti on the $42 million building and its surrounding facilities.
The vandals made their mark on the back and front of the stadium, velodrome wall, its vehicle entrance and the badminton hall.
They also scribbled over new entrance signage, which had only been put up last week and will now need to be replaced.
Skelt said efforts to remove all the graffiti had been unsuccessful and walls would have to be completely repainted and signs replaced.
The remedial work would cost thousands, he said.
The community took pride in the new building, which will be officially opened by Prime Minister John Key on May 9, and had waited a long time to use it, he said.
"It is disappointing some of their own chose to deface their meeting hub," he said.
It was the first instance of significant tagging in the history of the stadium.
A raft of stadium security cameras caught the culprits in action.
"Fortunately footage of the offenders are clear and we are confident the police will apprehend them."
"Staff and management were incensed. It's better the police and not my staff deal with the culprit as the result would be quite different."
Invercargill City Council staff were also informed about graffiti in the Glengarry area yesterday.
City councillor Alan Dennis, who is also stadium trust deputy chairman said police had recently given a report to council on the increase of tagging in the city.
"The stadium is owned by everyone in the community and I feel sorry for the person who gets a thrill out of being so destructive."
The stadium was already short of funds and cleaning up the mess would take up money that could have been used elsewhere, he said.
Other graffiti with the same tag was spotted around town by The Southland Times on bus stops, a car near the stadium and on the Scottish Hall.
- The Southland Times
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