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Leader appointed for Christchurch stadium project

Christchurch City Council has named Murray Strong as chair of the company that will manage the construction of a new 25,000-seat stadium in the New Zealand city.

Strong has worked on various other projects in Christchurch, including the city’s bus interchange, a metro sports facility and the convention centre. He currently serves as the interim executive director of New Zealand’s Institute of Skills and Technology.

Strong becomes the first appointment to the new team and he will advise on the make-up of the rest of the board.

In March, the government approved NZ$220m (£107m/€121m/$133m) in funding for the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Fund for the stadium project. The overall cost of the project will be NZ$473m, with the council to contribute the remaining NZ$253m.

The development came after the city council announced in February that it was seeking directors for the new company that will oversee the development of the venue. Enabling works are set to begin this year.

The venue will be built on a Crown-owned block of land between Madras, Barbadoes, Hereford and Tuam streets. Both the Crown and the council have approved the investment case for the stadium.

The stadium’s capacity would be expandable to 36,000 for concerts with a standing arena. A further 5,000 temporary seats could be added in the future.

Construction is due to commence in 2021 with a completion date set for 2024.

Image: Christchurch City Council