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Plans for the highly-anticipated $300 million leisure centre's hydroslide tower complex have been released today by Ōtākaro, the Crown-owned company delivering the central city anchor projects that the Government committed to after the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes.
The plans show five water slides, including the 12.6m-high "Looping Rocket" where riders stand on a floor that suddenly drops away, sending them hurtling down the slide at around 40km/h.
The "Sphere Slide" will see one or two riders using an inflatable raft spun around in the sphere, not knowing which way they'll be facing for the rest of the 125m ride.
Another slide, starting at the lower 9m platform will be slower and feature more gradual turns for less confident riders.
Ōtākaro chief executive John Bridgman said the plans' release marks the first six months' construction of the facility which will be run by the Christchurch City Council and expected to open in early 2022.
"Like all the other anchor projects, the goal of the Metro Sports Facility is to draw people into the city and New Zealand's first 'Looping Rocket' will do just that," Bridgman said.
The city council's head of recreation, sports and events, Nigel Cox, said the five hydroslides will cater for about 300 riders at a time.
"Since May 2018 we've sold over 70,000 tickets for the hydroslide at Taiora QEII, so we know they are popular," he said.
"Allowing more people to enjoy the thrill at the centrally located Metro Sports Facility will be great for our city."
Ōtākaro, Christchurch City Council and Matapopore have worked closely on the design of the hydroslide tower, which will be unique with its black and grey coloured tubes.
Matapopore chairwoman Aroha Reriti-Crofts said the intertwined layout and colouring of the slides have been designed to resemble silver bellied eels in an eel pot.
"We want to develop a greater depth of understanding of the Ngāi Tūāhuriri / Ngāi Tahu values, traditions and concepts within a contemporary urban environment. Bringing these visual indicators of Ngāi Tūāhuriri / Ngāi Tahu identity and stories to life will help to ensure the city of Christchurch is recognisable on the world stage."