Andy Ellis rates Dunedin stadium with the best

TONY SMITH
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2012

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Build a stadium like Dunedin's in post-earthquake Christchurch and you could call it Ellis Park.

All Blacks halfback Andy Ellis rates the Dunedin arena's pitch as "one of the best surfaces in the world" and would love to see a roofed stadium established in Crusaders' territory.

"I loved it," he said of his first experience at Forsyth Barr Stadium, where the Highlanders beat the Crusaders in last Saturday's South Island derby before 23,000 noisy, passionate fans.

"As far as surfaces go, it's one of the best I've played on in the world and, as far as atmosphere goes, it felt like we were playing in front of 70 or 80,000 people with the noise and so much hype around it.

"I really loved playing there – all the boys did."

The Crusaders will play their 2012 Super 15 home games at a new, temporary stadium being constructed on the old Rugby League Park site in Addington. But, longer term, Ellis would love to see a roofed stadium built in Christchurch.

"I think that would be great. I hadn't played down there before so it was the first time I'd been in there and seen it. I really got a grasp of what you can create. It's pretty special, really.

"To have something like that here would be pretty awesome and its capacity [around 30,000] is really good too and really important. It feels like there could be 50 or 70,000 people there."

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