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House of Pain

On Saturday I went to Carisbrook (Dunedin’s main sports ground, aka “the House of Pain”) and watched the big rugby test between the All Blacks and France. Unfortunately the final score wasn’t what we were really wanting but the experience was definitely worthwhile.

OK, so it cost $200 for the whole family and they weren’t even great seats and there was a big pool of beer on the ground and people were peeing against the wall behind us and there was a fight going on at the end and the All Blacks lost, but apart from that it was great!

No matter what the bad points of the experience it still was a real experience more than watching the game on tv would ever be. And, of course, Dunedin provided some great weather and good ground conditions unlike Auckland where there would have been 6 inches of rain or Wellington where there would be a 100 knot wind (just joking).

It was the last big game at Carisbrook because Dunedin is building a new, modern, roofed stadium which will be ready for the next Rugby World Cup being played in New Zealand.

Many people here disagree with the idea of building the new stadium, mainly because they don’t want to pay for it through their rates, but I have supported it because I think a smaller city like ours needs to move forward or be left behind.

But after this Carisbrook experience (and many others as well in the past) I do wonder whether it might have been better to modernise our existing ground. That way we could save some money and maintain the history and atmosphere of Carisbrook. On the other hand, the decision has been made, and there’s no point in worrying about something which is inevitable.

I’m sure the new stadium will be nice and comfortable and provide great playing conditions in any weather but it will never be the same as the House of Pain!

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