Transtas­man sta­dium stoush

Sport­ing bosses face-off over sim­i­lar event at Kiwi and Aussie are­nas

Herald on Sunday - - THIS WEEK - Cherie Howie

Atranstas­man war of words has bro­ken out be­tween two sport­ing bosses over a sim­i­lar event held at two of Aus­trala­sia’s most fa­mous sport­ing grounds.

The clash be­tween Eden Park Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Nick Saut­ner and Nick Cut­ler — pub­lisher of Aus­tralian Golf Digest and organiser of a sta­dium golf event at Ade­laide Oval — be­gan when, ac­cord­ing to Cut­ler, Saut­ner sent a “wishy-washy le­gal let­ter” claim­ing there were sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the Ade­laide event and Eden Park’s G9 golf event.

The Eden Park event teed off for a week in Novem­ber last year, with a re­peat week-long event wrap­ping up last night. The Ade­laide event be­gan last Mon­day and Cut­ler told Aus­tralian me­dia: “hit­ting high above the stands down on to the play­ing sur­faces is just not re­peated any­where else in the world, par­tic­u­larly not on golf cour­ses”.

Saut­ner told the Her­ald on Sun­day that Eden Park Trust was “sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed” with Cut­ler’s com­ments, given rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Golf Digest took part in Eden Park’s event in 2017.

“Although the Ade­laide Oval’s launch event had the iden­ti­cal grounds mark­ings . . . they did change the field mark­ings for their ac­tual event once in mar­ket — ar­guably an ac­knowl­edge­ment of this be­ing iden­ti­cal in na­ture and com­pro­mis­ing Eden Park’s IP [in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty] around our G9 event.”

The sta­dium boss sent the news­pa­per a list of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Eden Park and Ade­laide Oval’s sta­dium golf set-ups, in­clud­ing the green lay­out, scor­ing sys­tem, holes, course lay­out and the long­est drive sim­u­la­tor.

But Cut­ler said they had not copied Eden Park — sta­dium golf had been around since 2015 in the United States.

“Eden Park was by no means the first to run this event in the world. Ade­laide Oval is not unique — the whole con­cept is not unique.”

He stood by his com­ment to Aus­tralian me­dia be­cause no sta­dium or golf course was the same.

“We teed off in front of the iconic Ade­laide Oval score­board . . . in front of the fig trees, the dress­ing room. That’s what I meant by that quote. You can’t do that any­where else.”

Cut­ler also said they had not changed ground mark­ings.

“The only thing we changed was a colour from yel­low to white in re­gards to a scor­ing area.”

Saut­ner had con­tacted him “all huff and puff” ear­lier this year, send­ing a “wishy-washy le­gal let­ter” about the Ade­laide Oval golf plans.

The Her­ald on Sun­day hasn’t seen that let­ter, but Cut­ler’s re­sponse to Saunter in Septem­ber, which the news­pa­per has seen, shows he claimed that sta­dium golf “has been around [in] var­i­ous forms in other parts of the world since 2015”.

Cut­ler had more ad­vice for Saut­ner. “My un­der­stand­ing is Eden Park will be fight­ing to re­tain any sort of rel­e­vance in the Auck­land sport­ing land­scape should the new sta­dium pro­posal get up.

“I would sug­gest Nick fo­cus his time and ef­fort here.”

Eden Park is fight­ing for its fu­ture af­ter a con­sor­tium’s pro­posal for a new na­tional sta­dium sunken into the Auck­land water­front.

Saut­ner said that his team was “com­mit­ted to chal­leng­ing per­cep­tions of how Eden Park can be utilised”.

“Em­brac­ing change and mod­ernising our op­er­a­tions by in­cu­bat­ing events like this en­ables the park to evolve . . . We look for­ward to ex­port­ing the G9 con­cept de­vel­oped in New Zealand around the globe.”

Eden Park Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive Nick Saut­ner, left, and Nick Cut­ler, who runs a golf­ing event at Ade­laide Oval.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.