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New Zealand Government commits to separate Christchurch’s new sports facilities
The New Zealand Government has today announced that, in conjunction with Christchurch City Council, it will develop key infrastructure projects in the earthquake damaged city as separate facilities.
Having conducted a review of the rising costs for the city’s Metro Sports Facility, New Zealand’s Minister for Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods has confirmed that the aquatic and recreation centre, and the planned multi-purpose arena will be developed as stand-alone projects.
Last November, the New Zealand Government axed the contractors on the Metro Sports Facility and there had since been speculation the project would be combined with a new stadium for major sporting events.
However, Minister 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.
Also announcing that “plans for the stadium can now be fast tracked” Minister Woods advised “I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to work quickly and closely with the Christchurch City Council to put things right.
“Ōtākaro has completed the detailed design of the Metro Sports Facility, and is now ready to go to market to confirm the final cost of the project. Through a combination of changes to the procurement approach and to the final design, the estimated cost of the project has been reduced by more than $50 million.
“The detailed design work completed by Ōtākaro has removed cosmetic elements of the design that were adding significant cost. This has allowed savings not only in the cost of construction but also the ongoing operating cost which will be borne by ratepayers.”
Moving forward, the Metro Sports Facility will include:
• 10 lane 50 metre competition pool plus operable 1.5 metre wide boom;
• 1000 aquatic spectator seats;
• 20 metre x 25.4 metre diving pool;
• Aquatic leisure facility;
• Five hydroslides;
• Learn to swim pool;
• Warm water pool/spa/sauna/steam room;
• Birthday party room;
• Multipurpose indoor courts with capacity for nine netball courts and other indoor sports codes;
• 2500 retractable spectator seats in the Show Court;
• Gym/weights facility;
• Group fitness rooms;
• Allied health facilities;
• Performance movement centre;
• Aquatic sensory space;
• High performance sports centre with facilities for coaching and training;
• Sports House – shared administration area for regional sport;
• Facility administration areas;
• VIP and media areas;
• Café and supporting and satellite food and beverage facilities; and
• Facility parking.
Seven years after the 2011 earthquakes irreparably damaged AMI Stadium/Lancaster Park. Minister
Woods went on to advise that the final design and costings of the new stadium will be subject to a business case.
Minister Woods added “the Crown and the council have also worked together to fast-track work on the stadium.
“(While) the details will be subject to a business case, but we foresee a roofed stadium large enough to allow the city to host major rugby test matches as well as other significant sport and entertainment events.
"Council now has the option to consider as part of its long-term plan deliberations bringing timelines on the stadium forward. That means Christchurch is closer than ever to having a permanent stadium."
Stating that the announcements are a great endorsement for New Zealand’s second largest city, ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive Joanna Norris added “we are delighted the decision has been made to proceed with both essential projects and we now need to deliver these much-needed facilities at pace.
“These key anchor projects are well overdue. The people of Otautahi Christchurch have been very patient. Certainty of completion dates for these facilities will enable Christchurch to attract high-profile events such as major concerts and sporting and cultural festivals, which generate significant economic benefit for the city”.
“This will ensure that we maintain confidence, momentum and economic certainty as major events bring wealth and prosperity to residents and businesses.”
Images: Current designs for the Metro Sports Facility showing its entrance (top) and sports courts (middle). Lower shows a concept design for the stadium.
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