12 May 2012

Dunedin stadium cost overrun down to kitchens

5:34 am on 12 May 2012

Just two days after it was revealed Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium lost nearly $2 million in its first six months of operation, details of an $8 million cost overrun in its construction have come to light.

An audit commissioned by the stadium's owner, Dunedin City Council, has found most of the extra costs came with fitting out the stadium's kitchens.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountants say the construction overran its budget of $198 million by about $8 million.

PWC director Stephen Drain says the council appears to have created the problems in the way it managed the project.

Mr Drain said the over-run was mainly due to unexpected costs in the stadium's kitchen fit-out, the shared plaza with Otago University and administration costs.

They say the cost blowout was not approved by councillors, and will ultimately have to be borne by the city's ratepayers.

After the announcement of the stadium's operating loss, Dunedin mayor Dave Cull - who opposed its construction - said the funding and operating model had been aimed at convincing people to build it.

On Friday Mr Cull was philosophical about the news the council will have to spend even more money bailing the stadium out.

But he says it will put extra pressure on council finances as it tries to plan for the future..

The Forsyth Barr stadium opened last August, replacing the old Carisbrook ground.