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Forsyth Barr extends backing of Dunedin stadium

New Zealand investment company Forsyth Barr has renewed an agreement for naming rights to the home stadium of Super Rugby team 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.

Terry Davies, chief executive of Dunedin Venues Management, which operates the 30,000-seat venue, welcomed the deal. He said: “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 re-sign a long-term partnership with a stalwart of the Dunedin business scene.”

The new naming rights agreement will commence at the conclusion of the current term in late 2021.

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 favourite 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, the Football Ferns, Ed Sheeran or Kendrick Lamar. 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 stadium is also home to 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 music tours, including Ed Sheeran’s three-night concert held over Easter 2018, which Forsyth claims injected NZ$38m into the city.