Dunedin celebrates Sheeran windfall while Christchurch still without major stadium

Dunedin is celebrating a $34m windfall following the biggest weekend in Forsyth Barr Stadium's six-year history.

Around 70,000 Ed Sheeran fans boosted the city's population over Easter. But many Cantabrians are feeling left out.

Almost 120,000 fans - Dunedin's total population - filled the stadium over three nights.

Dunedin Venues Management CEO Terry Davies says the triple bill's success makes it one of the country's top two concert destinations.

"Promoters will be hard pushed to take content elsewhere," he told Newshub.

"Where not only do we sell tickets, we deliver a festival experience in the city, everyone engages, and they have a great time when they're here."

The city council spent $240,000 on marketing and closing off the Octagon, with the aim of creating a festival atmosphere.

Dunedin City Council community services general manager Simon Pickford says he wants the city to punch above its weight.

"We want to make ourselves the destination for concerts like this."

But less than five hours up the road, Christchurch has been without a major stadium since the 2011 earthquake, and residents feel left out.

"We are missing out on those big concerts," one woman told Newshub.

A feasibility study recommended a 30,000-seater multi-purpose stadium for the city, with a retractable roof and playing field, costing almost half a billion dollars.

"It's a major city, so I don't know why they haven't rebuilt one already," said one man.

"There's a cost to consider, isn't there, the payback?" said another.

"Dunedin's going to be paying for it for many, many years."

The Government is considering some assistance for Christchurch in the Budget, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"It's up to Council, then once we make that special fund available, to pitch to Government a business case which we'll then work through together."

For now, Dunedin remains in the box seat as the hot ticket for the south.