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House of Pain

Entry 1033, on 2009-06-15 at 21:35:25 (Rating 2, Activities)

On Saturday I went to Carisbrook (Dunedin's main sports ground, aka "the House of Pain") and watched the big rugby test between the All Blacks and France. Unfortunately the final score wasn't what we were really wanting but the experience was definitely worthwhile.

OK, so it cost $200 for the whole family and they weren't even great seats and there was a big pool of beer on the ground and people were peeing against the wall behind us and there was a fight going on at the end and the All Blacks lost, but apart from that it was great!

No matter what the bad points of the experience it still was a real experience more than watching the game on tv would ever be. And, of course, Dunedin provided some great weather and good ground conditions unlike Auckland where there would have been 6 inches of rain or Wellington where there would be a 100 knot wind (just joking).

It was the last big game at Carisbrook because Dunedin is building a new, modern, roofed stadium which will be ready for the next Rugby World Cup being played in New Zealand.

Many people here disagree with the idea of building the new stadium, mainly because they don't want to pay for it through their rates, but I have supported it because I think a smaller city like ours needs to move forward or be left behind.

But after this Carisbrook experience (and many others as well in the past) I do wonder whether it might have been better to modernise our existing ground. That way we could save some money and maintain the history and atmosphere of Carisbrook. On the other hand, the decision has been made, and there's no point in worrying about something which is inevitable.

I'm sure the new stadium will be nice and comfortable and provide great playing conditions in any weather but it will never be the same as the House of Pain!

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Comment 1 (2116) by SBFL on 2009-06-16 at 10:30:14:

Yes, why should Dunedin ratepayers fork out through the nose for one decent game every 12 months (and that is if Dunedin is lucky). The pre tri-nations games this year could have been against Samoa or Tonga... And as for Otago or Higlanders games, well I don't see the HoP being sold out for them.

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Comment 2 (2120) by OJB on 2009-06-16 at 11:38:00:

The theory is that the stadium would be used for many purposes, not just rugby games. Its not clear how successful that strategy will be, but if it does work the stadium could be reasonable value. If it was only used for a big rugby game once a year don't think anyone would support it.

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Comment 3 (2121) by SBFL on 2009-06-17 at 07:14:42:

Not "only used for a big rugby game", but "used for only one big rugby game". Bit of a difference. Good point on non-rugby uses, but what really? Concerts tend to be indoors more these days (esp with Dunedin weather) and I have no idea if there will be any cricket..the trend these days is for the sports to have separate grounds due to the significant overlap in seasons now. Maybe Commonwealth Games will eventually make it to Dunedin?? Cough, splutter!

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Comment 4 (2124) by OJB on 2009-06-17 at 08:34:20:

Yes, it will be suitable for concerts - not that thats really necessary since Dunedin gets far less rain than Auckland for example! :) It won't be used for cricket though - the ground is too small - but we still have Carisbrook. I guess only time will tell if its a success. The thing is no one ever makes progress without taking a few risks - people remember the occasional time councils fail but tend to forget the numerous successes. I think the "Rodney Hide" approach is a real backward step.

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