MEDIA RELEASE            3 November 2005

Christchurch reflects well in world ranking for entertainment venues – again!

First and third quarter results put both Christchurch Town Hall and Westpac Centre in Top 100 venues for ticket sales in POLLSTAR rankings

Christchurch venues are ranked internationally for theatre ticket sales, the Town Hall not far below London’s Royal Albert Hall in London and Massey Hall in Toronto and the Westpac Centre ahead of several well known European venues of similar design but greater capacity – proof  it’s a very entertaining city!

Mike Kelly, CEO for venue manager Vbase Venue Management Group, called it a wonderful result for a relatively small city to be so highly ranked by the industry magazine POLLSTAR. Christchurch was the only New Zealand city to make the concert rankings.

As of the third quarter 2005 Christchurch Town Hall ranked 66th with annual ticket sales of 40,826 and the Westpac Centre ranked 83rd with annual sales of 72,541.

“It is important to note that this comparative ranking includes venues of up to 25,000 seats and in major metropolitan areas in the arena category. In addition, we had been advised not to include our wonderful home grown talent and ticket sales for Kiwi performers such as Shihad, the Finn Brothers and Dave Dobbyn, all who performed during this period, weren’t counted. We have now been advised that we can include these truly international stars and that will even further enhance our rankings,” Mike Kelly said.

“We had an outstanding first quarter when the Westpac Centre for sport & entertainment was ranked 15th in the world for arena venue concert ticket sales,” Mike Kelly said. “We’ve lost some ground in the rankings since then but that only highlights how incredible that period was when we had a total of 69,838 tickets sold for international entertainers such as Rod Stewart, Cher, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, R.E.M and Norah Jones – they pushed ticket sales into the stratosphere!”

“Things were a bit more sedate during the autumn quarter but we heated up the venues and turned on the entertainment again with performers such as Manhatten Transfer, Vienna Boys Choir, Irish Rovers and the boys from Buena Vista.”

The Westpac Centre is one of the smaller international arenas with a maximum capacity of 8888 seats. “But being the smallest venue in the smallest metropolitan area just adds to the achievement. The key attraction was Black Eyed Peas amongst the several trade shows that dominate the landscape at this time of the year.’  Mike Kelly said.

Mike Kelly said it was partly the result of many years working with concert promoters. “We made it a priority even before the Westpac Centre opened, to ensure we got more than our share of quality products and now that effort is well and truly paying off. The investment in the Promoters Summit, which saw us bring a number of international promoters to Christchurch, all those years ago has continued to pay dividends well into the new millennium”

In February the Cher concert at the Westpac Centre had gross ticket sales of $US824,854.  During the same month the two Neil Diamond concerts sold 17,014 tickets and grossed $NZ1,493,635 in 2 sell-out shows. 

“I keep telling myself that we have to pace ourselves in a smaller community but the results keep proving me wrong.  It’s a boom or bust situation quarter to quarter with bookings and that’s just the way it is. We’ve got some terrific acts to finish the year,” Mike Kelly said.

These include

·        Joe Cocker

·        Kelly Clarkson

·        John Fogerty

“The first quarter of 2006 is firming up nicely starting with the Doobie Brothers on 19 January; Stevie Nicks and John Farnham on 7 March. I’ve said it before, but put some money under the mattress for post Christmas if you like international artists. I’m only sorry I’m moving on and I won’t get to see some the fabulous artists on sale and in the works we’ve worked so hard to attract to Christchurch.”

Mike Kelly relocates to Bangkok at the end of December, where he will be working with NCC Management and Development Co Ltd (Bangkok), based at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre.


For jpeg file images of performers please email

For more information please contact Mike Kelly on or phone or 0