Crusaders put $87k into stadium

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 12:13 19/12/2012

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The Crusaders have put half of their $174,294 profit into the Christchurch Stadium Trust.

Having lost about $700,000 last year because earthquake damage to Lancaster Park forced them to play all matches out of Christchurch, the Crusaders' profit is a strong indicator they have made a bold start to their financial recovery.

The Government's decision to build AMI Stadium in Addington has provided a vital plank in the Crusaders' rebuilding.

''Our pleasing financial result allows us to fulfil some of our obligations, such as an additional payment to the Christchurch Stadium Trust, as part of our agreement with the Government in getting the new stadium built,'' Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said.

''We will be making a $87,147 payment to the trust, which is over and above the agreed rental amount for AMI Stadium.''

Crusaders chairman Murray Ellis said: ''We are very proud of this result, particularly given the ongoing difficulties that we are dealing with due to the earthquakes. 

''We are still working through our business-interruption insurance claim from last year, and the loss of the original AMI Stadium in the earthquakes will continue to hit our bottom line for some time due to the reduced capacity for ticket sales and other costs associated with the new stadium.

''In saying that, if it weren't for the new AMI Stadium at Addington, this year's surplus would not have been possible.  We are extremely grateful to the Government for driving this project and allowing our team to once again play at home in front of Christchurch and Canterbury fans.''

Riach said the ability to play at home was the single biggest factor contributing to the turnaround in the Crusaders' financial performance.

''If we subtract the extraordinarily high revenue from the match played in Twickenham in 2011, we grew match revenue by approximately 25 per cent this year.  We also achieved a 136 per cent increase in sponsorship this year and we are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors for their vital support,'' he said.

''The accounts also show further revenue of over $500,000 from our business-interruption insurance claim and that will be used to repay all but $200,000 of our loan from the NZRU [New Zealand Rugby Union].''

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- The Press

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