Christchurch's Metro Sports Facility project 'back on track' - govt also foresees roof for new stadium

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Christchurch is to get a trimmed-back Metro Sports Facility for recreational users and a business case will be put together for a roofed stadium for major sporting events.

The Minister for Greater Christchurch has given an update to the long-awaited Metro Sports Facility and new stadium project.
Source: 1 NEWS

Minister for Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods says the budget blowout for the Metro Sports Facility has been "brought into line" and the facility will now open by the end of 2021.

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The Crown last November axed the contractors on the facility and there had since been speculation the project would be combined with a new stadium for major sporting events.

The government and Christchurch City Council said only they had worked together to fast-track work on a sports stadium to the point where work could begin on a detailed business case.

"Obviously, the details will be subject to that business case but we foresee a roofed stadium that will allow the city to host major rugby test matches and other significant sports and entertainment events," they said.

National's Nicky Wagner said there was still no commitment to replace Lancaster Park. Instead there was a vague statement.

Ms Woods said the Metro Sports Facility was due to open in 2016 but was still just an empty lot.

"We were facing a $75m cost blowout on its contract and there was still no certainty on the shape or cost of Christchurch's stadium," Ms Woods said today. 

Cosmetic elements of the design that were adding significant cost had been removed, she said.

"The estimated cost of the project has been reduced by more than $50m - that means this long-awaited facility is on track to open by the end of 2021."

Ms Woods didn't say what the final cost was likely to be.

Leeann Watson, chief executive of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce, said the commitment to a large capacity enclosed arena for the sports stadium was very welcome news.

It was also pleasing the Metro Sports Facility project was ready to go to market for costing.

"This is an important facility, for both community sports and for recreation users around the city," Ms Watson said.

The chamber welcomed the way costs have been reduced on the project.

"Using a more functional approach to design and focusing less on the architectural merits of the structure for a practical community facility is most welcome. I'm also pleased to see a focus on procurement methods," said Ms Watson.

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