Dunedin venue retain Forsyth Barr name


New Zealand Forsyth Barr stadium naming rights Image: Vector Foiltec

New Zealand investment firm Forsyth Barr has renewed an agreement for naming rights to the home stadium of Super Rugby team the Highlanders. The Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin (New Zealand) serves as the residence of the Highlanders.

The Dunedin venue has been known as Forsyth Barr Stadium since 2011 as part of a 10-year deal, which has been extended for another decade through to 2031. The new naming rights agreement will commence at the conclusion of the current term in late 2021.

Forsyth Barr Stadium replaced Carisbrook as the home venue of the Highlanders team in Super Rugby in late 2011, with the stadium in use from the beginning of the 2012 Super Rugby season.

The Forsyth Barr Stadium is a multipurpose 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.

The Highlanders is a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Dunedin that competes in Super Rugby. The team was formed in 1996 to represent the lower South Island in the newly formed Super 12 competition, and includes the Otago, North Otago and Southland unions.

Terry Davies, Chief Executive of Dunedin Venues Management, which operates the 30,000-seat venue, while welcoming the deal, stated, “Forsyth Barr has been fundamental to the success of the stadium. They have been our partner since Day One, and we are thrilled that they will be alongside us for the next 10 years.”

“A 20-year corporate partnership is a relatively rare thing and we’re absolutely delighted to sign again a long-term partnership with a stalwart of the Dunedin business scene,” Davies added.

Forsyth Barr Managing Director Neil Paviour-Smith said the company had worked closely with the Dunedin Venues Management – “Forsyth Barr Stadium is acknowledged as one of the best facilities in the world. It’s a favorite with international acts, and one of the preferred arenas for the best sports teams to perform in. We believe the stadium team has done an outstanding job.”

“Our stadium partnership gives New Zealanders the opportunity to see the likes of the All Blacks (New Zealand national rugby union team), the Football Ferns (New Zealand women’s national football team), English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran or Kendrick Lamar (American rapper). This is inspiring, and we’re very proud of the impact exposure to this world-class talent has on New Zealanders. 2020 has been a tough year. This early recommitment is a strong signal of our confidence in the future of the stadium, the region and the economy,” the top shot added.

The stadium is also the home ground of the Otago Rugby Football Union team in the domestic Mitre 10 Cup and hosted four matches of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It has also hosted major musical acts, including Ed Sheeran’s three-night concert held over Easter 2018, which Forsyth claims injected NZ$38m into the City.

The Mitre 10 Cup is a rugby union professional competition for New Zealand unions. It consists of 14 teams, divided equally between the Premiership Division and the Championship Division. The Mitre 10 Cup is the second highest professional level of rugby union in New Zealand, after Super Rugby.

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