Trust to consider new multi-use sports and entertainment stadium for Christchurch
Christchurch has its first glimpse of what its new stadium could look like.
It is a video for a multi-use arena with facilities including exhibition and conference centre, cafes, bars, offices and hotels; sports-related features such as medical facilities, gym, sauna and high performance centre – even a monorail. It is just an idea, its creators say, but a vision for what the city could one day have.
The Multi-purpose Arena Trust (MPA) has worked on ideas for such a precinct since last year. It presented the concept video to Christchurch city councillors last week.
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"We have laid out a whole series of possible options as part of a concept of how a true multi-purpose stadium could work for Christchurch," MPA chairman Barry Maister said.
"We've put things in. They're not costed, they're not tested, they're simply ideas."
MPA's priority was to hasten stadium development, he said.
"If we started this stadium right now it would be four to five years before it actually appears. That's 2022. That's a long time after the earthquake."
Immediate progress rests with another trust – the Christchurch Stadium Trust, which owns the temporary AMI Stadium in Addington. It will conduct a pre-feasibility study and report back to the Government and council by the end of July. The brief, released this week, includes identifying key trade-offs "in light of current committed funding", assessing the ideal stadium size and configuration and short-listing the most promising options for other site facilities.
"Any potential development will likely need to be a multi-use sports and entertainment venue to maximise opportunities for regional, national and international events," Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Nicky Wagner said.
Maister hoped the two trusts could work together. They already met Christchurch Stadium trustees Neville Harris and Trevor Thornton to share what they had, he said.
"It's totally up to them.
"I've sent an invitation for their trust to meet with our trust so we can just have a chat and see how we might be able to help.."
He hoped the study would produce some concepts for what the council and Government wanted – and could do.
"The next stage might be that the Government determines it wants to put together a small group to make one of them happen . . . we'd like to be part of those groups. We think we've got something to offer, but if we're not [involved], it doesn't matter."
The stadium would be built on land acquired by the Crown between Madras, Barbadoes, Tuam and Cashel streets. The council has committed $250 million to the project.
Cost has been an ongoing issue. The stadium was first envisioned as an anchor project in the central Christchurch blueprint in 2012. It was earmarked for completion this year, in time for the British and Irish Lions tour, but slipped down the political agenda. The council pushed out the spending over three financial years from 2022-23, but Mayor Lianne Dalziel recently said there was a chance this could be brought forward. The council would consult with ratepayers before doing so, she said.
"This . . . study will enable us to explore ways of ensuring that it will not be a burden on ratepayers in the way it could have been if it was just a sporting stadium."