Trust aims to future-proof stadium

ILT Stadium Southland. Photo: Petrina Wright

MORE funding is needed to secure the future of Invercargill’s ILT Stadium Southland.

“The stadium is not in [financial] trouble. We [just] want to keep it up to standard and future-proof it,” Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust (SILCCT) chairman Alan Dennis said.

“Like all stadiums, you can’t make money on them.”

SILCCT owns and operates the stadium.

Mr Dennis said the board had identified where efficiencies could be made, but it needed about $300,000 a year in reserves for maintenance and unexpected expenses.

Funding previously held in reserves was now being “eaten up” by the extra costs associated with running the new facility, he said.

“It’s an excellent facility, running as efficiently as it can, but it is going to need some help.”

Mr Dennis was preparing a case seeking an increase in funding, which would be presented to the stadium’s funders within the next two to three weeks, he said.

“If we all put our shoulder to the wheel, we can future-proof this asset.”

The funders include the Invercargill City Council (ICC), Community Trust of Southland (CTOS), Southland District Council (SDC) and the Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT).

ICC and ILT each contributed $400,000, CTOS contributed $80,000 and SDC provided $75,000 towards the operational costs of Stadium Southland and the Velodrome for the year ending March 31, last year.

Mr Dennis, who is also the president of the ILT, said he proposed the ILT’s funding would increase to $550,000 a year.

Part of the increase in funding would also be used to repay the debt still owing on the stadium rebuild, he said.

The trust borrowed $7m from Invercargill City Holdings in May 2013 to help finance the $40m stadium rebuild project, which is to be repaid by June 30 next year.

Mr Dennis said the loan balance outstanding was now about $1.5m.

SILCCT secretary/financial controller Neil Affleck said the trust had sufficient funding to “get by”, but in the future the stadium would have higher maintenance costs and asset replacements needed.

“We want to keep up the high standard of the building to make sure it is as world-class as possible.”

For the year ending March 31, last year, SILCCT made a surplus of $200,000.

Mr Affleck said the stadium generally broke even on a cash level, but recorded a loss because of depreciation of the facility.

“This does not impact on the cash viability of the stadium.

“It is accepted and understood, but ideally we would like funding to cover depreciation – but that is a huge ask.”Sports ShoesGucci x The North Face Release Information