Dunedin wants to wrest the annual international Rugby Sevens tournament from Wellington.
Wellington is set to host the event until 2012. The contract is due for renegotiation next year.
Building started on a new stadium in Dunedin in June. The venue, which will hold 30,000, is due to be completed in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Dunedin Venues Management says prising the IRB Sevens event from Wellington is a top priority.
Chief executive David Davies says Wellington's proven success at hosting the tournament does not guarantee a continued contract.
He says the Dunedin bid will need input from the Otago Rugby Union and tourist agencies there.