Christchurch confirmed to finally get roofed stadium

NZ 27/04/2018

Christchurch is set to get a new roofed stadium, seven years after the 2011 earthquakes damaged AMI Stadium/Lancaster Park beyond repairs.

After much debate the new stadium will be separate to the city's Metro Sports Facility, and will be large enough to host major test matches and entertainment events. 

Minister for Greater Christchurch Megan Woods said on Friday the final design and costings will be subject to a business case.

"The Crown and the council have also worked together to fast-track work on the stadium… Obviously, the details will be subject to a business case, but we foresee a roofed stadium large enough to allow the city to host major rugby test matches as well as other significant sport and entertainment events.

"Council now has the option to consider as part of its long-term plan deliberations bringing timelines on the stadium forward. That means Christchurch is closer than ever to having a permanent stadium."

Sir Bob Parker, who was Christchurch Mayor when the quakes ruined the stadium - then known as AMI Stadium - earlier told The AM Show it will be "the making of Christchurch moving forward".

"A great city without a great stadium is a bit like a country without a flag. It's something that you rally around, it's a pride, it's a community place. It's where we get together to celebrate not just sports, but the great musical events. The things that make a great city [is] more than just houses, streets and jobs. It's actually about how we feel about the place."

The Government and Christchurch City Council also say they have got the city's sporting facilities back on track.

"Just a few months ago when this Government came to office, there were big problems with the plan for sporting projects in the central city," said Ms Woods.

"The Metro Sports Facility was originally due to open in 2016 but was still just an empty lot - we were facing a $75 million cost blowout on its contract, and there was still no certainty on the shape or cost of Christchurch's stadium."

The facility will include a 10-lane 50m competition pool, 1000 spectator seats, a 20m x 25.4m diving pool, five hydroslides, and a gym and fitness room among other facilities.

The facility is expected to be open by the end of 2021.