Westpac Stadium membership packages to alter
When Westpac Stadium’s original memberships and corporate boxes expire in 2014, they are unlikely to be offered again in the same form.
The expiring memberships were identified as a commercial risk in the stadium trust’s report to coowner Wellington Regional Council at a recent meeting.
Stadium chief executive David Gray said after the meeting that economic circumstances have changed since the original boxes and memberships were sold.
‘‘Our expectation and certain knowledge is that certainly 15-year memberships at that price won’t fly again. People supported us once because we were a new stadium,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re going out with a entirely different offer; a new market place, a different environment.’’
The stadium is about to begin research to find out what current and future members might want, before marketing begins in 2013.
Kapiti councillor Nigel Wilson raised the future of Wellington Phoenix, and its financiallytroubled owner Terry Serepisos at the meeting.
Two of Mr Serepisos’ companies have been placed in receivership and he and his various companies have been in court several times defending receivership and bankruptcy proceedings.
‘‘Serepisos; it looks like he’s dog tucker. Have they got a . . .?’’ he asked.
‘‘Plan B? Yes, they have got a plan B in terms of potential sponsors and so on,’’ interjected council chairwoman Fran Wilde.
Outside the meeting Ms Wilde said there had been a lot of talk around town about alternative sponsorship for the A League club.
‘‘Enough to lead me to conclude that there are many parties wanting the Phoenix to succeed,’’ she said.
‘‘They have been great for Wellington and great for the stadium. Important to note also that all sponsorships ultimately change from time to time and I know from personal experience that people in Wellington will go the extra mile to make sure we keep a successful event or team.’’
Mr Gray said he was reasonably confident the Phoenix would still be around next year.
‘‘ Terry himself has been remarkable in terms of what he has achieved, given the pressure he is under. We support him fully as he tries to sort those things out,’’ he said.
‘‘I do think it’s an incredibly strong brand, and common-sense tells us that people will support that. That’s what’s happened in Australia.
‘‘Terry has created a stronger brand really than some of those Aussie franchises.’’