Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009: Add it like Beckham

Sometimes even the most egregious examples of shoddy journalism escape my news-view. So thanks to Luke for emailing me this one.

You'll all remember this story from last week, if you have eyes and/or ears:
"Two senior Auckland Regional Council executives quit yesterday after the David Beckham soccer match fiasco in which the council-owned Mt Smart Stadium lost $1.79 million."
Wowsers, that's a lot of money. How did they lose that much?
The game, which drew only 16,600 people instead of the 20,000, needed to break even.
There are two 'interesting' things to be said about that sentence. Firstly, it's a total grammatical abortion. "The game ... needed to break even"? Or what? Two senior ARC executives would quit? Oh, it's all very well having hindsight, Herald. And to whom does "the 20,000" refer? It sounds like a reference to some millenarian cult preparing to ascend to heaven via top-notch use of the dead ball.

Secondly, and more importantly, if they lost $1.8m and needed 3400 more people to break even, those 3400 people would have been paying $530 a ticket. Perhaps that's why they didn't get more people in the first place? But then maybe I am missing something. Maybe, if they achieved the magic number of 20,000, David Beckham was going to walk to the center circle at halftime and lay a solid gold Faberge egg, which would then be auctioned off to the highest bidder.*

Thanks again to Luke. Feel free to email through any news-rageworthy items to the address on the right.

*Come to think of it, the footage would probably have been worth something as well.


  1. Wait, I thought this blog was supposed to be serious news-rage? That was fricken hilarious. I think you are getting too good Coe. Don't think the Herald got to its influential position in New Zealand society without some skulduggery along the way.

  2. Hang on, two ARC clowns burnt my rates money on a Boy's Own fantasy lunch with Becks and you fancy painting the Herald as the villain of the piece?
    And no, the 3400 people wouldn't be paying $530 a ticket. It would have taken 20,000 FULL-PRICE tickets to break even. Anyone who followed the saga throughout would be aware of that.