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Westpac Stadium Rated Best Venue

Wednesday 28 October 2009: Kiwi sports fans rate atmosphere as a sporting venue’s most important attribute – and Wellington’s Westpac Stadium as the country’s best venue overall.

A nationwide survey, part of the Nielsen Company/BrandAdvantage study of the New Zealand Ticketing Marketplace, asked fans in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin who had patronised at least one of the venues in the study’s orbit in the last year to rate 12 attributes on a scale of one to five (very important to not important at all), and the level of satisfaction they experienced on each count (very satisfied to not satisfied at all). A three rated as neutral.

Atmosphere came in as the most important attribute for fans, followed by overall value for money, seating lay-out, seating comfort, toilet facilities and parking.

Nearly 60 percent prioritised the time it took to get into the venue, and transport and distance were important for about half. The quality of food and beverages was the most polarising attribute – almost (45%) said it was important, while (25%) per cent said it wasn’t. Pre-event and half-time entertainment were the least significant factors in enjoyment of events.

Westpac Stadium was the outstanding performer in terms of overall net satisfaction –the balance of satisfied respondents minus the unsatisfied – with a rating of almost (85%). In the last twelve months more than 80 percent of Wellington sports followers had attended an event at the venue, which placed second to the Basin Reserve for atmosphere and led the field in seating comfort, seating layout, toilet facilities, transport, pre-event entertainment and overall value for money (58%). However, the report says no venue came close to meeting the (77%) importance rating that value for money had for fans.

Waikato Stadium delivered the second most satisfactory experience overall (81%); the Basin Reserve (80%) came in third.

Although Eden Park was the most frequented venue, its (58%) satisfaction rating was the survey’s lowest. The gap between patrons’ expectations and their experience was most evident in the areas of parking, seating comfort, overall value for money and toilet facilities, but atmosphere and the quality of food and beverages at the park rated poorly, too.

Executive Director of The Nielsen Company’s Media Research Division, Stuart Jamieson notes; “All venues should take note of the number of fans who rated their experience at a neutral three – in some cases more than one in five.

“Their muted satisfaction with the venue could be a factor next time they are considering attending an event there.”

The Nielsen/BrandAdvantage study of the New Zealand events and ticketing market surveyed 1,989 sports fans aged 18+ in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. A “fan” was defined as anyone who had attended or bought tickets for an event at a New Zealand venue in the last 12 months.

Overall, the survey revealed that New Zealand sporting venues are struggling to fill stadiums in a fiercely competitive ticketing market. In the last five years, increased rugby fixtures and netball competitions, coupled with new facilities such as Vector Arena and a significant growth in concerts, festivals and shows have created a myriad of choice for the New Zealand ticketing dollar.


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