Kiwi sports aficionados rate atmosphere as a venue’s most important attribute and think Wellington’s Westpac Stadium is the country’s best.
As part of the Nielsen Company/BrandAdvantage study of the New Zealand Ticketing Marketplace, a nationwide survey asked 1,989 sports fans aged 18+ who had patronised at least one of the venues in the study’s orbit in the last year to rate 12 attributes on a scale of one to five and the level of satisfaction they experienced on each count.
Atmosphere was the most important attribute for fans, followed by overall value for money, seating lay-out, seating comfort, toilet facilities and parking.
Nearly 60 per cent prioritised the time it took to get into the venue, and transport and distance were important for about half. The quality of food and beverages was the most polarising attribute – almost 45 per cent said it was important, while 25 per cent said it wasn’t. Pre-event and half-time entertainment were the least significant factors in enjoyment of events.
Westpac Stadium was the outstanding performer in terms of overall net satisfaction – the balance of satisfied respondents minus the unsatisfied – with a rating of almost 85 per cent.
Waikato Stadium delivered the second most satisfactory experience overall (81 per cent) and the Basin Reserve (80 per cent) came in third.
Although Eden Park was the most frequented venue, its 58 per cent satisfaction rating was the survey’s lowest. The gap between patrons’ expectations and their experience was most evident in the areas of parking, seating comfort, overall value for money and toilet facilities, but atmosphere and the quality of food and beverages also rated poorly.
Executive Director of The Nielsen Company’s Media Research Division, Stuart Jamieson notes: “All venues should take note of the number of fans who rated their experience at a neutral three – in some cases more than one in five.
“Their muted satisfaction with the venue could be a factor next time they are considering attending an event there.”
Overall, the survey revealed that New Zealand sporting venues are struggling to fill stadiums in a fiercely competitive ticketing market. In the last five years, increased rugby fixtures and netball competitions, coupled with new facilities such as Vector Arena and a significant growth in concerts, festivals and shows have created a myriad of choice for the New Zealand ticketing dollar.