Temporary stadium to be built in Christchurch

7:13 pm on 8 November 2011

A new temporary stadium is to be built in Christchurch at a cost of $20 million.

Damage to AMI Stadium in the February earthquake left Christchurch without a venue for top level sports events and music concerts.

The temporary stadium will have seating for 17,000 people and will be built at Rugby League Park in Addington.


Construction will begin next week.

It is expected to be completed by March next year, in time for the 2012 Super Rugby season and the Crusaders' first home game.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the stands will have to be demonlished and the turf replaced but he is confident it can be done by the March deadline.

A test match between the All Blacks and Ireland has been scheduled to be played at the venue in June next year.

The stadium will also be used for music events.

Stand temporary, but important for city - Key

The project was announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister John Key who says it is a temporary solution, but an important step for Christchurch.

"The rationale behind the investment is that it's a very uncertain future for AMI stadium. We really don't know whether that can be rebuilt and even if it can it's a long-run thing."

Mr Key says without the temporary facility it would have been years before the Crusaders could play in Christchurch again.

The cost is being underwritten by the Government, with support from Christchurch City Council and the New Zealand Rugby Union.

Funding will also be sought from corporate sponsors and the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust.

Chief executive of Canterbury rugby Hamish Riach says the redevelopment of Rugby League Park is an important part of rebuilding Christchurch and he is pleased the Crusaders and the Canterbury provincial side will have a home base in Christchurch in 2012.

The Crusaders played their 2011 Super Rugby home matches in London, Nelson, Timaru, Napier and Wellington.