There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Jeff Cheshire, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
The More FM Arena in Dunedin, New Zealand, acts as the home stadium to the OceanaGold Otago Nuggets. Part of the Edgar Centre sporting complex, the arena has played host to Nuggets games since 2005 and acts as the main centre for all basketball in the Otago area.
The Nuggets history dates back to 1990 though, when the team first appeared in the New Zealand National Basketball League, otherwise known as the NBL. For their first decade they called the Dunedin Stadium home, moving to the Edgar Centre in the early part of the new millennium. Initially the team played on a portable court, while then Lion Foundation Arena was being completed, before moving into their current home in 2005. The stadium was renamed the More FM Arena in 2013 after a change in sponsorship.
Despite having some successes in their early years, the Nuggets have struggled for the majority of the past 15 years. They have regularly found themselves at the bottom of the league standings and reached their lowest point in 2009 where they were forced to withdraw after running into financial problems. However, after gaining backing from OceanaGold they were back up and running in 2010. In 2011 they snapped a 33 game losing streak dating back multiple seasons.
2012 saw local legend Mark Dickel return home and rejuvenate basketball in the area, putting in place top development programmes and attracting top talent to the team. In 2013 the team is one of the best in the league, boasting a bunch of big names and a handful of good role players. The fans have come back and the Nuggets are now once again one of the hottest tickets in town.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There is a reasonable selection of foods and beverages available and it is not exorbitantly priced compared with other stadiums. You will find all your traditional sports event foods such as meat pies, sausage rolls and hot chips, each ranging in price from $3-$5. The pies and sausage rolls are made locally at Marlow Pies and as any local will tell you, these are quality pies that you must try if you are in the south.
You can also purchase a more substantial meal if you are willing to pay a bit more, for example butter chicken can be purchased for $9.80.
Alcohol can be purchased with prices beginning at $6.50 for a Speights, which is a local brew of beer, perhaps the most famous of all New Zealand beers. Other beers are available too, as are other non-alcoholic drinks.
There are also cold foods such as ice-cream which is sold inside the arena with a salesman who walks up and down the aisles.
Lines generally are not an issue and service is swift and friendly.
The atmosphere is perhaps the most obvious improvement in attending Nuggets games over the past few seasons. While there is only one gate to enter the arena, entry is always quick and easy, especially if you have pre-bought your tickets. There is generally a buzz surrounding the entrance, particularly before a big game and you will likely see a lot of the notable local basketball personalities lingering.
Once inside you can sit where you want, so it is advisable to get there early to ensure you get the seats you want if you have a preference. The stands on the sides of the court offer the best view of the action and being in the higher up seats can give you more perspective of the whole court too. Additionally these seats are padded, while the seats behind the backboard are not.
The scoreboard is fairly standard and gives you a good idea of what is happening in the game, providing the score, team fouls, timeouts and a foul count for each player. However, there is no replay screen so you will not want to miss any of the live action. There is a scoreboard at either end, but the main one is hard to see if you are too close to the far end of the court.
The cheerleaders for the team are the Otago Dancers who do a great job of providing entertainment during timeouts, while other entertainment includes giveaways from sponsors.
The best thing about Dunedin is the people that live there. It is a safe, friendly environment where you can feel comfortable walking the streets, particularly in the area of the More FM Arena and further into town.
While not in town itself, there are plenty of fast food outlets within a five-ten minute walk of the stadium including McDonalds, KFC, Burger King and Subway if you feel the need for a meal.
If you are looking for more excitement you will have to foray downtown, which is only a five minute drive from the stadium. Here you will find many of Dunedin's iconic historical buildings, the most prominent being the Railway Station, which is located directly down the hill from the Octagon. There are also many fine eating establishments and various bars, while if you continue further north you will come across the University of Otago, perhaps Dunedin's most famous landmark.
Nightlife in the city is vibrant too, particularly during the University semesters when all the students are in town. There are a wide range of clubs to choose from should you wish to venture into town after a game, starting from the Octagon and being scattered along George Street and its side streets.
Basketball is a growing sport in New Zealand and as it grows, so does its support base and the enthusiasm of the fans. Inevitably people will support a winning team and consequently the fans have flocked back to the Nuggets in recent times. They are a crowd who will get into the game, particularly if it is close but can be quiet if it looks as though the game is a lost-cause.
There have been great improvements in this section over the past four years. Perhaps the biggest indicator of this comes in that in past years a pre-recorded defence chant was used, while now the crowd chants along to the hooter of the Nuggets most famous fan, Steven from Dunedin. If things keep going the way they are, the rating for this section will no doubt continue to increase.
The stadium is a five-ten minute drive from the city centre. Therefore you will want to make sure you have transport if you are coming from town or any of the surrounding suburbs. Buses can be caught right along George Street and if you look out for either the St. Kilda or Shiel Hill ones you will be able to be dropped a five minute walk from the stadium if you get off at the stop opposite KFC on Andersons Bay Road. From here backtrack along the street and turn right into Teviot Street and walk down to the end where the stadium is located on the left.
If you have your own car you can use the car park which contains 900 parks, although you may need to be early to get one of these as there are often other events happening outside the Arena in the Edgar Centre. There are plenty of surrounding streets to park in though, all only a couple of minutes walk from the stadium entrance.
Once at the venue access is smooth, with fast service at the gates and easily accessible seats. Disability access is not difficult either, with a ramp option when entering for wheelchairs and the option to enter the arena from the ground level, rather than using the stairs and entering from the top as is generally the case.
Tickets are well priced and are worth the money. Adults are priced at $12, students are $8, children are $5 and family tickets which include two adults and two children are $30. These are very reasonably priced tickets compared to what you would pay for other events around the city.
The overall experience is an enjoyable one and is a delightful and affordable way to spend a Friday or Saturday night, or Sunday afternoon.
There is a merchandise table just inside the front door before you walk through the main gate with all sorts of fan gear to buy ranging from t-shirts, singlets and shorts. This is run by efficient, friendly staff, which is consistent with the experience from all staff that work in the arena.
There is also a good effort made to get the fans involved, with shooting competitions for the fans held in the break after the third quarter. Photographers walk the stands and take photos of the fans while watching the game, with prizes available for getting likes for these photos on Facebook. There are also a number of giveaways from the sponsors at different stages throughout the game which are always exciting.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
There are no local food and drink entries. Help us build with your expertise!
There are no local entertainment entries. Help us build with your expertise!
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!