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University Supports Concept Of Multi-Use Stadium

University Supports Concept Of Multi-Use Stadium

The University of Otago strongly supports further development of the concept of a multi-use stadium complex alongside the campus.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg says the University will be working with the Carisbrook Stadium Trust over the coming months to investigate the feasibility of such a facility.

Acting under a Memorandum of Understanding, the University and Trust will examine the feasibility of including appropriate academic or service units, and research and teaching facilities within the stadium complex.

“We are starting this process with an open mind about the final form of the new complex, but I do believe that a multi-use facility located next to the city’s tertiary education campuses is the best option for the future,” Professor Skegg says. “By voicing our support at this early stage, we hope to allow this option to be pursued through to the next, more detailed phase of development.”

Professor Skegg says the opportunity to look at the future of the stadium in this innovative way has come about through a combination of circumstances. “On the one hand, Dunedin and southern New Zealand face a major decision about the future of Carisbrook. On the other, the University is embarking on a capital development plan to alleviate serious space shortages. The time frames for resolving these two separate issues are almost identical.

“This provides us with an exciting opportunity to consider a facility that would be far more than a traditional sports stadium, which would tend to be unused for much of the year.”

The University would assign a portion of its capital development expenditure to this project. While some University funds might be used for dual purpose spaces – such as seminar rooms, which could double as corporate entertainment areas – Professor Skegg says that the University involvement could not extend to any investment in “seats or turf” at the stadium.

“While the University is still some way from confirming which areas of its operations might be based at a new facility, there are some obvious candidates to consider.

“Such a facility would, for example, provide a possible site for a new School of Physical Education, accompanied by further developments in the areas of human performance and sports. Similarly, a research cluster in nutrition, activity and health might find it advantageous to be based at such a facility, especially if other complementary activities were also located there. Other areas to be considered include exercise and activity clinics to meet community health needs, and student recreation facilities.

“A stadium complex including University amenities would also be a major drawcard for students coming to Dunedin, especially as this would complement planned developments of the sport and recreation facilities at Logan Park.”

Ends

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