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New Christchurch stadium to be ‘fast-tracked’

Christchurch in New Zealand looks set to build a new roofed stadium, several years after the 2011 earthquakes damaged AMI Stadium/Lancaster Park beyond repair.

The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Dr Megan Woods has announced the Crown and the City Council have worked together to fast-track work on the stadium to the point where work can begin on a detailed business case. She said:

Obviously the details will be subject to that business case but we foresee a roofed stadium that will allow the city to host major test matches.

Council now has the option, subject to funding, to bring timelines on the stadium forward. That means Christchurch is closer than ever to having a permanent stadium.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says there has been consistent feedback from stakeholders that work on the stadium should be fast-tracked and the Council has received a number of Long Term Plan submissions to that effect. She said:

The option of bringing forward funding for the stadium is something we will consider as part of our Long Term Plan deliberations in June.

Currently the Council’s $253 million contribution towards the stadium is budgeted to be spent over three years, beginning in mid 2023.

Meanwhile, a review of Christchurch’s Metro Sports Facility has identified savings of more than $50 million and cleared the way for work on the long-awaited project to proceed.

Mayor Dalziel says it is a positive step forward and brings the city closer to getting the major sporting facilities it needs. It also provides certainty to local developers and businesses. She added:

The savings in the Metro Sports Facility can be achieved without compromising its functionality so we will still get all sporting facilities we need, just without a few of the extras that ironically weren’t in the best interest of the users of the facility.

The revised design has the support of the sporting codes and will also result in operational savings over the life of the facility, which means it will cost ratepayers less to run in the long-term. It is a great outcome and allows us to proceed with certainty.

The Metro Sports Facility is one of the anchor projects identified in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and was initially scheduled for completion in early 2016.

Delays mean it will now open in 2021. It will have nine indoor courts and a 10-lane, 50-metre pool, a fitness centre and other indoor studios.

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