Christchurch hope to fast-track arena plans
The announcement comes after Crusaders coach Scott Robertson urged the council to make a decision following last weekend’s wet clash with the Sunwolves.
“It is too good an opportunity, a clear opportunity,” Robertson said last week.
“Right now we have the chance to do something special. It is a decision that should be made for now.”
“This is the progress we have been waiting and hoping for,” said Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach in a statement. “A business case is the appropriate next step. We understand that this is a big ticket item, and therefore it is vital that all design and funding options are thoroughly considered and that all proposed expenditure is evaluated.”
“We welcome this process and thank Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods for ensuring that it begins without further delay.”
The Crusaders and Canterbury Rugby Union have both submitted to the Christchurch City Council’s current Long Term Plan review, asking that consideration is given to bringing the timeline forward on the multi-purpose arena project.
“We are heartened by comments from Mayor Lianne Dalziel earlier this week, indicating her support for bringing this project forward in the long-term plan,” Canterbury Rugby CEO Nathan Godfrey said. “With the Government’s announcement today, we have ticked a big box and can now move forward to get the city’s sporting and event facilities back online, and that is hugely exciting.”
“We also welcome the support from both Minister Woods and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel for a roof,” said Riach. “We want this to be a truly multi-purpose venue that is as suitable for hosting concerts and conventions as it is rugby matches and other sporting events, and we believe that a roof is fundamental to achieving that. It is fantastic to know that the Minister and Mayor share that vision for our city.”
“There is still a process to follow, but it is great to have some more certainty about the future of our city. Generations will look back on today’s announcement and applaud the strong leadership shown by Crown and Council” Godfrey said.