Construction on a new 25,000-capacity, multi-use stadium in the New Zealand city of Christchurch could begin in 2019 after a new feasibility study revealed favoured plans for the venue.
The project was first mooted in 2012 and the initial plans had detailed a 35,000-seat covered arena with a retractable roof.
However, this proposal was deemed too expensive and a number of alternate options have now been put forward following a feasibility study, commissioned by the government and city council.
According to Radio NZ, the feasibility study details four stadium options, the cheapest of which would cost NZ$368m (€225.4m/US$265.9m/£207.2m) and have a capacity of 25,000, as well as a roof that would cover up to 80 per cent of the venue.
In contrast, the most expensive proposal for a 30,000-capacity venue with a solid roof and a retractable pitch would cost around NZ$584m.
However, the feasibility study said the preferred option is for a venue that would cost NZ$469m and feature 25,000 permanent seats, a solid roof and retractable pitch. If given final approval, the project could take up to five years to complete.
Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Nicky Wagner has said the council is willing to commit NZ$253m to support the new stadium project and, although cost is not the main consideration in selecting a preferred plan, other funding partners will need to be found.
“A covered roof gives more options, but if you can remove a retractable pitch, which is a new technology that has been used overseas, not used in New Zealand, that also means you can also have not only turf-based activities, but also hard-floor activities,” Wagner said.
Image: Christchurch Stadium Trust