Giant rugby ball teed up as city bar

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 12/09/2012
New Zealand’s Giant Inflatable Rugby Ball will be installed in Manchester St and be home to a bar and restaurant for the next two years.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ

TAKING SHAPE: New Zealand’s Giant Inflatable Rugby Ball will be installed in Manchester St and be home to a bar and restaurant for the next two years.

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New Zealand's giant inflatable rugby ball is coming to Christchurch and will be transformed into a restaurant and bar.

Construction of the interior is under way on the site on the corner of Manchester and Southwark streets in the central city.

The ball was previously owned by Tourism New Zealand and appeared during the Rugby World Cup in Auckland last year.

New owner Richard Bethune, chief executive of Hard Rock New Zealand, declined to comment yesterday, saying he wanted to wait for an official launch.

The Press understands the aptly named Town Ball will open in a matter of weeks.

A Tourism New Zealand spokeswoman said the "100% Pure New Zealand" branding had been removed and the company had no role in the ball's future use.

Hard Rock New Zealand is a former owner of the central-city Boogie Nights and Shooters Bar, closed since the February  2011 earthquake.

The Press understands the ball is likely to remain on the central-city site for two years.

A liquor licence application by the Town Ball was publicly notified on August 8.

The application was to sell liquor Mondays to Sundays, from 7am to 3am, at 54 Manchester St.

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