PM asked to help in stadium rebuild
Ballooning costs of the Stadium Southland rebuild have resulted in its owners writing a letter to the prime minister asking for a $1.5 million cash injection from the Government.
Stadium bosses also decided this week to forge ahead with selling naming rights to the new stadium, which is now expected to cost at least $34.5m - up from the $28.6m budgeted for the job last winter.
The original Stadium Southland collapsed under a heavy dumping of snow in September 2010, with its rebuild beset by budget blowouts and delays in its construction.
Stadium trust chairman Acton Smith said the trust had decided this week to sell naming rights for the stadium, with five organisations expressing an interest in buying the naming rights.
"We are going to have to do it, we are finding our costs are continually increasing."
Mr Smith said he had also written to Prime Minister John Key about two months ago asking for $1.5m from the Government towards the stadium rebuild.
"This was Southland's major disaster and I felt that the right place to go to was the prime minister. If we can get funding from central government and we get lucky with the naming rights, we have got it [costs] covered."
A spokeswoman for Mr Key said yesterday that Mr Smith's letter had been transferred to the local government minister and the community and voluntary sector minister.
Mr Smith said the cost of the stadium rebuild was continually rising because the engineers were demanding more in the construction phase.
"For example, in stage three, to fill in the northwest corner, we had allowed for 20 piles to go in and engineers have now specified 44 piles go in," he said.
He expected the costs to rise above the newly estimated figure of about $34.5m.
It was now uncertain if the stadium would be completed in February, as had been predicted in recent months.
"We keep getting the [building] specifications lifted," Mr Smith said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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