Funding partners needed for Christchurch arena - Dalziel

Lianne Dalziel
Lianne Dalziel

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel will not be asking residents to make up the shortfall for a potential $496 million arena.

The 25,000-seat stadium with a roof and retractable pitch was the best option for the city, according to a Government feasibility report released yesterday.

The second-best option was for a $465 million 25,000-seat arena with a transparent roof.

The report also looked at 30,000-seat arenas, one with a solid roof and retractable pitch costing $584 million and a 25,000-seat arena with 75%-80% roof cover costing $368 million.

The Christchurch City Council said it would commit $253 million, about half of the stadium’s cost, but would need to find funding partners to cover the rest.

Ms Dalziel hoped residents backed the stadium plan and said they would not be asked to dip further into their pockets to fund it.

‘‘I won’t be going back to the people of Christchurch and asking them to meet that shortfall,’’ she said.

Prime Minister Bill English says the Government would be willing to chip in given the scale of rebuilding needed since the 2010 earthquake had been beyond the capacity of the Christchurch council to fund.

‘‘We expect to help pick up the tab for getting things done,’’ he said.

New Zealand Rugby chief strategy and operations officer Nigel Cass said the stadium sounded fantastic for rugby and possibly test matches.

‘‘We know from our experiences in Dunedin that a venue under cover has many advantages, and a brand new multipurpose venue in Christchurch would be a great development,’’ he said. 

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