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The Mayor of Dunedin, Peter Chin, announces David Davies as CEO of the newly formed Dunedin Venues Management Ltd, the company set up by the DCC to run the new Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza, the Dunedin Centre complex and the Edgar Centre.
"This is a critical appointment and we have been determined to get the right person for this ground-breaking position. Our consultants extended their search beyond New Zealand to make that appointment" added Mr Chin.
"We are very confident that, in offering the position to Mr David Davies, we have found the right person for the job. We now look forward to David using his considerable skills and experience in venue and event management to the advantage of Dunedin and the wider Otago region."
He was formerly the Managing Director of the European Division of Ogden Entertainmnet, the large US facilities operator. Included in the venues Davies controlled were the arenas in Manchester, Newcastle and Oberhausen. The 23,000 seat Manchester Arena, was a pivotal facility in Manchester's successful bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The Arena is the biggest and busiest indoor concert venue in Europe and was named ‘International Venue of the Year’ in 2002. It hosted ice hockey, netball, basketball and boxing in addition to light entertainment events, which included Take That, Bruce Springsteen and Luciano Pavarotti. Davies was also Deputy Chairman of the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, which was home to the Halle Orchestra and hosted concerts and international orchestras.
He then went on to work as the CEO of Queen’s Park Rangers, an English Championship Football Club, CEO of rugby club, London Wasps, the former Premiership and European Champions.
Mr Davies, has a BA in Sports Studies and a Masters in Business Administration together with an imposing portfolio of relevant experience. He is currently employed as Managing Director of DHP Group (Nottingham) a company which currently runs four venues, including the award winning Rock City, and in addition has interests in ticketing operations, concert promotions and artist management.
Starting his career as a local government employee Mr Davies confesses to being comfortable working within the responsibilities such a relationship imposes. He has also had extensive experience working with a variety of sporting and entertainment surfaces both natural and artificial.
Mr Davies, who has worked alongside Warren Gatland and Craig Dowd, admits to being passionate about rugby and worked at the 2007 Rugby World Cup Fan Village at the Eiffel Tower site in Paris. He believes such relationships have brought him an understanding of the ‘kiwi psyche’ and our approach to life and business, and his regard for New Zealanders leads him to think he and his family will quickly settle in Dunedin.
The Chair of DVML, Sir John Hansen, says "We are excited by the skills and vision Mr Davies will bring to the position and we are fortunate to have secured the very considerable experience of a man who has repeatedly proved himself in the highly competitive European and UK markets. I am particularly delighted that David brings such vast experience of concert and music promotion to the position". Hansen also announced that Davies would act as CEO on behalf of the Carisbrook Trust during the construction of the new stadium.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Farry, Chairman of Carisbrook Stadium Trust says: "Mr Davies brings a welcome wealth of international expertise and experience to our project. We look forward to his skills turning our dream into reality. Mr Davies will provide valuable insights into the detailed design of the stadium as it goes through the construction stage, leadership to the staff and fresh ideas in the sponsorship and marketing areas. The Trustees are looking forward to working with Mr Davies who will also act as the CEO to the Trust for the time necessary to see the stadium is built on time, on budget to appropriate quality standards."
Mr Davies, who is 50, is expected to arrive in Dunedin before Christmas.