Sports clubs sidelines as grounds 'saturated'
Thousands of football, rugby and hockey players will today be sidelined after days of rain forced the closure of pitches across Christchurch.
City council parks operations manager Ross Campbell said many of the fields were "saturated" and could not be used.
"Closing the grounds . . . will allow them to continue to dry out, ensuring they are in a suitable condition for sports when they are reopened. None of the closures are permanent," he said.
Tim Gilkison, the general manager of community rugby for the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, said the closures affected 14,500 players across the region, with games being postponed or cancelled.
"It is frustrating for everybody when we cannot play our full round, [but] it is not in anyone's interests to cut it up," he said.
The council's website has a list of the closed grounds.