AMI Stadium trust seeks $2m for seats

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 11:39 15/05/2014
stadium standard
BIG CROWDS: Addington's AMI stadium looks likely to stay put for a few years.

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The trust that owns the temporary AMI Stadium is asking the city council for $2 million.

It wants the money so that it can reduce its ongoing operating costs by buying, rather than leasing, the stadium seating.

When the stadium in Addington was built in 2012 the trust opted to lease the seating because it was only supposed to be in place for three years, but with it now looking likely the stadium will in use for at least three or four more years, it wants to buy the seats.

It believes that would save it $500,000 a year in operating costs - money it could then invest in maintaining the stadium for the longer-term.

It has already bought the seats in the City Care Stand using a grant from the Lion Foundation and a loan from the Canterbury Community Trust, but it would like $2 million from the council so it can buy the rest of the seats.

Trust chairman Jim Anderton told councillors that if the stadium was going to have an extended life, it would be prudent to purchase the seating now at a cost of $2 million rather than having to pay a lease in excess of $500,000 a year.

The savings achieved could be applied to various maintenance projects that would extend the life of the stadium for five, 10 years or more.

When the government first released the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan it provided for the completion of a new stadium in 2017 but new time frames released this week indicate the stadium has been moved down the priority list and is now unlikely to be completed before 2019.

The 2019 time frame remained to be confirmed and could be further delayed as the Christchurch City Council works through its financial troubles.

Councillor Jamie Gough questioned whether the trust had asked the government for extra financial assistance.

Anderton said it had consulted with the government but it had indicated it was unlikely to increase its contribution to the stadium any further.

Council finance committee chairman Raf Manji said he would meet with the trust as soon as possible to discuss the financial implications of the stadium remaining in place for longer.

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- Fairfax Media

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