Neha Patil (Editor)

Forsyth Barr Stadium

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Dunedin City Council

5 August 2011

Desso GrassMaster

+64 3-479 2823

Forsyth Barr Stadium

Former names
New Carisbrook, Dunedin Stadium, Awatea Street Stadium, Otago Stadium

Anzac Avenue, Logan Park, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd

30,748 (Rugby/Football) 36,000 (Concerts) 15,000 (Rodeo)

130 Anzac Ave, Dunedin, 9058, New Zealand

Waikato Stadium, Wellington Regional Stadium, Rugby League Park, Carisbrook, Okara Park


The Forsyth Barr Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. At various stages of development it was also known as Dunedin Stadium or Awatea Street Stadium, or its non-commercial official name during the 2011 Rugby World Cup and 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Otago Stadium. It is also known colloquially as 'the glasshouse' due to its resemblance to a horticultural hothouse. The stadium was opened by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on 5 August 2011, replacing Carisbrook as the home stadium of the Highlanders team in Super Rugby and the Otago in the domestic ITM Cup. The stadium hosted four matches of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and after hosting Elton John in November 2011 hosted more major music events in April 2013, when Aerosmith and Paul Simon performed in New Zealand for the first time.


Ox forsyth barr stadium insiders dunedin


The stadium is located in Dunedin North, close to the outflow of the Water of Leith into Otago Harbour (and directly over the outflow of Opoho Stream). Its site is close to several other major sports venues. Logan Park lies immediately to the north, and the University Oval and the Caledonian Ground are also nearby to the north of the stadium. Also to the north of the stadium is Logan Point quarry, at the foot of Signal Hill.

To the west, the stadium's near neighbours include Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago College of Education. The main campus of the University of Otago lies one kilometre to the west.

The stadium's construction required the shifting of New Zealand State Highway 88, the main road between the CBD to the West Harbour Suburbs and the port facilities,which prior to stadium construction followed Anzac Avenue as part of its route, turning northeast at Logan Park before following the harbour's edge past Ravensbourne. The highway was diverted onto a new stretch of road alongside the railway line, 200 metres east of Anzac Avenue.


The stadium was designed by Populous and Jasmax in a joint venture, and is the world's first fully enclosed grassed (though strengthened by synthetic grass fibres from Desso GrassMaster) stadium since the original grass field of the Astrodome in Houston was replaced in 1966 with what would be known as AstroTurf. The stadium roof was constructed with a clear ETFE roof supplied and installed by the firm Vector Foiltec, the same material as used at Allianz Arena in Munich and the Water Cube in Beijing.

The stadium was designed as a versatile venue, and is expected to be able to host a range of events including sports (rugby union, rugby league, football, basketball, netball), concerts, trade fairs and other large scale events. The use of relocatable seating allows for flexibility to suit a range of event requirements. Due to size constraints, some sports (such as cricket, a popular sport in New Zealand) are unable to use the stadium.

It has a maximum seated capacity of 30,748 in a full sports mode, and capacity in excess of 36,000 for concerts There are permanent stands in the South and North with removable seating in East and West Stand areas. The West Stand Area, officially called the Mitre 10 Mega Stand, is also known as the Zoo and is popular with the student population.


Internal roof height at centre line: 37 metres
Highest observed rugby kick 29.4m
External roof height 47 metres (equivalent to a 12 storey building)
Football goal posts: 16 metres

The roof is covered with 20,500m2 of ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) transparent roofing material (also used in the Eden Project, England and the Beijing Cube, China). This roof should have been angled to face north to optimise sun in Southern Hemisphere winter, however it was constructed facing a north-east direction. Rainwater is collected from the 20,500m2 roof surface and recycled to irrigate the pitch. The roof, supported by 5 steel trusses each spanning 105 metres, is capable of supporting the weight of a car. The main truss (South Stand) is 130 metres long and weighs 390 tonnes.


Real grass is strengthened by synthetic grass fibres injected deep into the soil. This increases the hard-wearing capability, allowing 3 times the use of natural grass field. The turf is serviced by 2.5 km of drainage, 15 km of irrigation and 40 automated sprinkler heads. The turf consists of three different types of seed, 3200m3 of sand, soil and compost in three different layers.

Due to the perceived high cost of maintaining the turf, proposals have been made to replace the grass/artificial turf with a 100% artificial turf, which would limit the attractiveness of the venue for high earning events like rugby test matches (for which the stadium was initially proposed to replace Carisbrook).


Hawkins Construction began work on the site during May 2009. It was completed in August 2011. 609 piles were driven to support stadium structure 1840m3 concrete poured in North and South stand seating areas 22,000m3 of excavated fill – much from buildings demolished to make way for the stadium 3,200 tonnes of structural steel and 2,000 tonnes of steel reinforcing 318 toilets and 260 metres of urinals 12 food and beverage stalls 220 two-kilowatt sports lights At least 600 people worked in new jobs created by Stadium construction and fit out Changes to State Highway 88 proposed prior to the stadium proposal, have been amended to accommodate the proposed new structure. Construction of the revamped highway was completed in mid-2011.


The Forsyth Barr Stadium project was met with significant opposition within Dunedin, with objections focusing largely on the expected cost of a stadium that may find limited use. After prolonged deliberation, the Dunedin City Council on 17 March 2008 voted 12–2 in favour of proceeding with the project.

A telephone survey of 2,200 residents run by the Dunedin City Council in early 2007 showed 51.9% thought the council should pay for the project, and larger mail-out surveys by the city and Otago Regional council showed around 40%. A November 2008 survey organised by Stop the Stadium showed 73.3% of respondents did not support public funding.

Two legal proceedings were taken separately against the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council, attempting to stop funding the stadium with public money. The Otago Regional Council won the case against it in the Dunedin High Court, and the Dunedin City Council won both the High Court proceedings, and subsequent Court of Appeal hearing.

Within a year of opening, stadium critics claimed evidence was published that supported the objections to the stadium being built, evidence sources include the Dunedin City Council, some of its councillors and associated sporting bodies.


Originally the total cost of the stadium including land purchases was projected to be NZ $198.3 million. The following contributors make up the original total funding of the project:

  • Otago Regional Council $37.5 million
  • Community Trust of Otago $7.0 million
  • University of Otago $10.0 million
  • Government $15.0 million
  • Dunedin City Council $98.5 million
  • The non-forensic audit of total cost to construct found the original budget was exceeded, and that Papers for Council were unnecessarily complicated - final disclosed stadium costs were $206.4m plus $18m interest for a total cost of $224.4m

    The Carisbrook Stadium Trust began purchasing the required land on 31 July 2008, with remaining settlements on 31 October 2008. The final cost of the land was $32.5 million, very significantly above the original budget of $20 million, but the trust expected to make some money back from the sale of surplus land and materials from the demolition.

    Other sports

    The stadium's inaugural game was a pre-season match between Wellington Phoenix !Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar !Brisbane Roar on 20 August 2011, with an attendance of over 15,000 (half of capacity). This was followed on 14 December 2011 as Phoenix hosted the same opposition in an A-League regional round fixture, with an attendance of only 4,628. The stadium has also hosted the local ASB Premiership football team Otago United for some of their home matches in the 2011–12 season.

    The stadium hosted a pre-season rugby league match between National Rugby League sides the New Zealand Warriors and Brisbane Broncos on 23 February 2013. The game attracted 15,000 spectators; with the Warriors prevailing 16-10. The quality of the stadium was an important factor in attracting the game to the city. The match was the first time the Warriors had played in Dunedin.

    Forsyth Barr is hosted its first rugby league international on 8 November 2014 when New Zealand hosted England in week 3 of the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations tournament.

    Forsyth Barr Stadium is one of the venues for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, hosting six Group Stage matches and one match in the Round of 16.

    In round 3 of the 2017 NRL season on Friday 17 March, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will host the New Zealand Warriors in the first NRL game in Dunedin for premiership points.

    Rugby league test match

    The Forsyth Barr Stadium has hosted one New Zealand international which was against England in the 2014 Four Nations. on November 8, 2014. New Zealand edged out England 16 – 14 with 15,863 in attendance.

    Other uses

    The stadium has hosted musical performances by international artists such as Elton John, Paul Simon, Aerosmith, Macklemore, Tinie Tempah and Rod Stewart. Two further concerts are scheduled for 2015, with Neil Diamond performing in October and Fleetwood Mac in December. Black Sabbath are scheduled to perform in 2016.


    Forsyth Barr Stadium Wikipedia

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