No to a roof

June 10th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

For years it has been labelled too expensive. Now Westpac Stadium is finally investigating getting a roof.

But if it goes ahead, it will require ratepayer money to get it over the line – and stadium chief executive Shane Harmon says the price tag would be in the “ballpark” of $60 million to $100m.

No, no and no.

Sure a roof would be nice. But no way should ratepayers be hit with $1,000 per household to pay for it.

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47 Responses to “No to a roof”

  1. dog_eat_dog (762 comments) says:

    Who had the idiot idea of building the Athletic Park replacement without a roof in the first place, and with such a low capacity?

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  2. pedrogarcia (52 comments) says:

    Preach it girl! Put a levy on stadium tickets for that carry on.

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  3. big bruv (13,561 comments) says:

    Come on DPF.

    All they have to do is get Steve Tew onside and the tax payer will fund it.

    After all, the entire population of NZ paid for Auckland’s upgraded white elephant (Eden Park) so why not ask the rest of the country to pay for a roof over the stadium in Wellington?

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  4. wiseowl (832 comments) says:

    Come on .
    So its OK for taxpayers and ratepayers to fund dams but not stadiums?

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  5. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    Wellington needs a lefty mayor who can commit the ratepayers to this. Imagine the number of shagging opportunities our mayor could have negotiating that contract.

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  6. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    You could give it a roof of gold and it is still a better investment than the White Elephant that is Eden Park….

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  7. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Sorry Bruv I see you’ve already made that point!

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  8. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    The mistakes were

    1. not having a rectangular sports field (diverting from this for 1 one day international each year was folly) that kept down cost, enhanced capacity and improved atmosphere.
    2. not building a stadium that could have a roof added later.

    Given the field size and the fact the stadium is not built to have a roof added means it’s no.

    That said after the Dunedin, Christchurch will not even consider not having a roof on their new stadium.

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  9. freedom101 (481 comments) says:

    Let’s flood it with water and then hold the Americas Cup there, with model boats. We can tap into a Steven Joyce subsidy and everything will be sweet.

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  10. big bruv (13,561 comments) says:

    Come to think of it, a roof might be a bloody good idea. However, lets think a bit more laterally about this.

    Why just a roof over the stadium?, we all know that Wellington has the worst weather in the country, we all know that the climate is shit and yes, we have all heard the saying “you cant beat Wellington on a good day” however given that the wind howls (not just blows) for 300 days a year the number of “good days” is bloody rare.

    Why not build a retractable roof over the entire city?, think of the boom in tourism, think of how much more enjoyable life would be in Wellington, think about how prettier the place would be when you could actually grow things in your garden without them being destroyed by the wind.

    A day could be nominated for rain, lets say every Monday the roof would be retracted to allow for watering of gardens etc, but, apart from that the roof would remain closed. The fine folk of Wellington could then experience what the rest of NZ enjoy, namely the ability to plan summer events and not be fearful of gale forced winds of the ever present rain.

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  11. Harriet (4,616 comments) says:

    Considering it’s such a cold, wet and windy place you’d think it would have come with one – via by law. :cool:

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  12. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    But if it goes ahead, it will require ratepayer money

    Cost/benefit analysis that isn’t laughable, please.

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  13. freedom101 (481 comments) says:

    Why not develop all the airspace above the Fran Wilde Walk and railway tracks? A large office development would have public transport literally right underneath it (gets the green tick!!), and the resulting value creation could fund the stadium roof without any ratepayer funding. This would also solve the problem of the interminable walk around an exposed concrete causeway to get to the stadium. Instead it could be under cover and accessing offices, retail, etc etc.

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  14. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    BigBruv, Wellington has the exact same sunshine hours as Auckland. Not saying it’s California, but then neither is anywhere else in New Zealand.

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  15. big bruv (13,561 comments) says:

    Peter

    I lived there for 32 years. It is not the lack of sunshine it is the lack of heat and the never ending gale forced winds that you cannot deny.

    Let’s face it, weather wise, Wellington sucks.

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  16. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    How about; if the ugh-by industry wants a roof over their venue, they build one, and recoup the costs from their increased sales to the ugh-by purchasing public?

    We are constantly hearing what an economic boon ugh-by is. We’ve got to get the ugh-by world cup, they said, it will be worth millions.

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  17. MT_Tinman (3,054 comments) says:

    Been trying top work out who could help pay for the roof.

    Rugby will get tax-payer money for some, soccer will promise heaps and pay nothing, cricket has the far superior Basin and will probably just pay rent.

    Who else uses the stadium?

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  18. Odakyu-sen (527 comments) says:

    “So its OK for taxpayers and ratepayers to fund dams but not stadiums?”

    Dams are essential infrastructure for irrigation and flood control, and for power generation (in this country).
    Stadiums would go under the “optional entertainment” category.

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  19. slightlyrighty (2,499 comments) says:

    No.

    Dunedin was designed as a roofed stadium, and as a result, has a number of innovations that have made turf management easy and has resulted in the best ground for an indoor stadium in the world.

    The problems that the millenium stadium has had in Cardiff with the turf are well known. Putting a roof on a stadium not designed for it will lead to a number of problems downstream.

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  20. dime (9,668 comments) says:

    “After all, the entire population of NZ paid for Auckland’s upgraded white elephant (Eden Park) so why not ask the rest of the country to pay for a roof over the stadium in Wellington?”

    I dont get why Eden Park is a white elephant?

    Dime rocked up Saturday to that shitty all blacks game. parked close. was in gold seating high up. great view. 48,000 people. went for a piss at half time. no line. waited about 3 mins to buy a drink.

    I thought the stadium was 9/10.

    As for rate payers funding stadiums – fuck that! its an easy sell for politicians and usually a good distraction. its worked since the beginning of time to placate the unwashed masses..

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  21. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    RRM

    Well said … imagine the tax payers not funding sporting venues for highly paid sports professionals…. Crikey – next thing you’ll be suggesting increasing the ACC levies on players so members of the chess club aren’t funding recuperation of highly paid sports professionals.

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  22. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    Several points relating to several posts.

    “Wellington weather sucks.” Avoiding the obvious rebuttal that this is because Auckland blows, Auckland is called the City of Sails. As in sailboats. What is the primary requirement for sailboats? Wind. So by definition Auckland must also be windy. The principal problem in Wellington is the temperature. Raise that even a few degrees, the air clear from the wind, and it will become awesome. So bring on global warming.

    It was dumb, as others have said to not include a roof on the stadium, or at least build it to be able to retrofit one easily.

    The roof should be made entirely from PV material. Imagine the electricity it could generate. Heck, the Indians are covering 19000 km of canals with solar panels, using the opportunity presented by solving evaporation problems from the canals. If they can do that…. In fact why not combine with a solar company (local or international – and build a showpiece?

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  23. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    A roof wont solve the main problem the stadium has. That problem is attracting punters. When it was new there were thousands of season tickets sold. For the first four years I had one and loved it, for the most part. Then the gestapo-like security started getting annoying, and the rules over what food was allowed in became ridiculous.

    In my own case I had my ancient old Thermos that I had been taking to watch rugby games for decades. No problems for four years then suddenly the stormtroopers at the gate refused to let me take it in. Apparently there were two issues. 1) I might throw it at people and 2) It was a danger to others because the contents were hot.

    Never mind that you could buy a hot coffee (well, sort of coffee) from the overpriced concession stand and try and make your way along a row of seats without spilling it over other spectators. That irony was beyond the rent-a-thug security. I never renewed my season ticket after that.

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  24. big bruv (13,561 comments) says:

    rouppe

    I have lived in both Wellington and Auckland, Wellington will always be my home yet only the most small minded person could ever suggest that Wellington’s weather is better than Auckland’s.

    Wellington is colder and the wind howls through the place. Weather wise it is a dump.

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  25. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    Let’s face it, weather wise, Wellington sucks.

    It’s not great, but then if anyone is living in NZ for good weather, they’ve chosen the wrong country.

    Having a pissing contest over Auckland weather vs Wellington weather is like fighting over who is the least incompetent member of the Labour Party.

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  26. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    Fascinating, I made my mind up to leave Auckland in 2005 during The November of Constant Rain in which it literally did not stop raining all month, not even once, not even for five minutes. Constant rain.

    Wellington’s colder for sure, but it’s cooler too. :-)

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  27. tedbear (129 comments) says:

    Bigbruv, I’ve played a lot of golf in Wellington and Auckland but guess what? Only Auckland’s gale force wind has turned my umbrella inside out.

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  28. big bruv (13,561 comments) says:

    tedbear

    I played truck loads of golf in Wellington. A real Wellington golfer will tell you that an umbrella is a waste of bloody time as normally the rain is coming in sideways or the wind is far too strong for the umbrella.

    RRM

    If you think that a small provincial town is cooler than our only truly international city then so be it, all I will say is that you are wrong.

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  29. lazza (370 comments) says:

    A caketin roof … a mere bagatelle. Here in the (Pants Down) Brown Republic, a grand per ratepayer for a roof would be a steal.

    My rates since the Auckland amalgamation … for a modest countryside 5 acre block with no! AC services (our road excepted but that is 50% funded from RUC’s) have increased from $1600 to $4700.

    This extortion helps pay, amongst other things (debt/trainsets/cultural BS) for an AC payroll with over 300 people paid more than $200K pa.

    Go figger ….

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  30. wreck1080 (3,813 comments) says:

    I sometimes wonder what facilities various cities would not have today if ratepayers did not pay for non-core council activities.

    (non-core = museums/art galleries/stadiums/parking buildings)

    Would private organisations step up to the mark?

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  31. Commentor (10 comments) says:

    all cake tins must have a lid

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  32. burt (8,035 comments) says:

    I guess we should ask Len if he can come and work in Wellington to get this sorted. Imagine the savings in accomodation costs while he takes back-handers in the form of endless free accomodation from the bidders for the roof contract.

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  33. Kimbo (747 comments) says:

    It was bad enough they got rid Athletic Park, which was a natural wind tunnel with its north-to-south layout (Hurricane test vs France in 1961!) and its cold dark dungeons for changing rooms, and the high viewing platform for the brave that was the Millard Stand.

    But what is the point of the All Blacks playing test matches in Wellington against the Springboks and the Wallabies, both of whom are used to playing rugby in hot and dry climates, if you can’t get them to the Cake Tin a cold, dark, windy and WET night the middle of winter?!

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  34. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    big bruv

    I didn’t use the word “better”. Auckland is warmer for sure. This is great in the winter because is isn’t as bitterly cold. Sometimes after visiting Auckland I miss the ability in summer to sit outside every night. But I don’t miss the mosquito’s. And the humidity during the day.

    Is Wellington weather ideal? Of course not. But it isn’t what you are saying either

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  35. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    If you think that a small provincial town is cooler than our only truly international city then so be it, all I will say is that you are wrong.M

    “Truly international city”. What does that even mean? Whatever it is, it’s certainly try-hard.

    Wellington is cool in that it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is.

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  36. mikemikemikemike (320 comments) says:

    Taxpayers/Ratepayers subsidising monorail is OK but not a roof to cover a stadium that holds the biggest annual sports party and home games for out NATIONAL sport…..

    You might not be a rugby fan – but there are a massive amount of people who are and would rather see their rate money go there than into Te Papa or a new piece of randomly placed ‘art’

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  37. doggone7 (756 comments) says:

    SPC: “1. not having a rectangular sports field (diverting from this for 1 one day international each year was folly) that kept down cost, enhanced capacity and improved atmosphere.”

    That was the biggest mistake. Having agreed with that, building around a rectangular field for the football codes might have been more of a goer years ago but in terms of funding and other support a stadium has to be seen to be “multipurpose.” We do not have the economy of scale but we still want acilities like Dallas, Chicago and Melbourne in comparatively small cities like Wellington.
    So it might have been a mistake but an understandable one.

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  38. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    Wellington not pretending ?!? WTF, without pretense Wellington wouldn’t get noticed except as a place to board the interislander ! My theory is that Wellington is windy because of the gravitational effect of all the taxpayers money sweeping into Wellington on such a scale that the local air pressure is lowered attracting in more air from outside. That’s why the wind always seems to blow into Wellington and never out.

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  39. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    Wellington not pretending ?!? WTF, without pretense Wellington wouldn’t get noticed except as a place to board the interislander ! My theory is that Wellington is windy because of the gravitational effect of all the taxpayers money sweeping into Wellington on such a scale that the local air pressure is lowered attracting in more air from outside. That’s why the wind always seems to blow into Wellington and never out.
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    Your theory doesn’t account for the way most of that money then streams north to Auckland.

    As far a weather, it depends where you are in Wellington. The airport and around the coast are windy, other parts not so much. People go on about southerlies in Wellington but reality is that the prevailing winds are mostly northerlies. Southerly storms happen a few times a year. That is why you have a scarf and a decent jacket.

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  40. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    Wellington not pretending ?!?

    Nope.

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/76165

    “Wellington is Cool-with-a-capital-C, crammed with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York, and a slew of gourmet producers including some 10 independent coffee roasteries.”

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  41. Bullion (74 comments) says:

    Would love to have a Forsyth Barr type stadium in Wellington. The stadium as is, is deeply flawed.

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  42. James Stephenson (2,096 comments) says:

    Wellington is cool in that it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is

    A government-dependent hole that would otherwise be the North Island’s Picton?

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  43. Judith (8,460 comments) says:

    Great idea. Lets improve the stadium. It’s not as if it sits on reclaimed land, on the shore of a city that’s prone to earthquakes and tsunami. If it was, any improvements would cost a fortune …. oh wait…

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  44. Barnsley Bill (982 comments) says:

    David, rather than look at a cost of 1000 dollars per ratepayer I think it should be a graduated contribution.
    If a ratepayer can see into the stadium from their penthouse babe lair they should contribute 50,000 dollars and then 5000 dollars per year for its upkeep, the sliding scale should be dictated based on a viewability down to a dollar per year for those who cannot see the stadium.

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  45. doggone7 (756 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill

    That’s it Bill! The blind referees won’t play a cent, the shortsighted politicians a few beans and Specsavers could be the main sponsor,
    and I’m sure the politicians could do a deal to get SkyCity involved too!

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  46. Steve (North Shore) (4,524 comments) says:

    Put a roof over Wellington and call it “Wellysphere 1″
    If that fucks up, do it again and call it “Wellysphere 2″
    Don’t forget to put all of those fuckin Govt wankers inside, and never ever let them out.

    Oi, hang about, Wellywood is just like that now, just needs a dome, or a cone of silence

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  47. Left Right and Centre (2,883 comments) says:

    Wellington weather. Let’s look for some positives. It’s better than Fiordland. You appreciate nice days more than spoiled people elsewhere. It removes more of the stench of the foreigners and harder to hear their gibbery jarring native tongues. And some of the local dickhead strains of ‘English’.

    Brian Smaller nails it about policy changes. Also I’ve never liked design of stadium in terms of being an oval – the average seat distance to the field in further away – and fans are removed further by starting off about three rows up above a giant concrete wall. It might make a better viewing position but it’s concrete jungle stuff – ugly. Part of you thinks you’ve turned up to feed Christians to Lions or something.

    But it’s perfectly situated – it can be found at the intersection of the Heart of Wellington and the Heart of Wellington. And a million miles away from Pathletic Park as a facility.

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