21 Jan 2010

Christchurch stadium ready for Rugby World Cup

10:54 am on 21 January 2010

Prime Minister John Key has formally opened the redeveloped AMI stadium in Christchurch, the first of the country's stadiums to be ready for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The $60 million redevelopment includes the new Deans Stand and gives the stadium a seating capacity of 38,500, which will increase to 45,000 for World Cup matches.

The stadium was blessed at dawn in a ceremony on Thursday, led by Ngai Tahu, after which Mr Key and Christchurch mayor Bob Parker officially opened the new stand.

Mr Key said the "magnificent" stadium will showcase Christchurch to the world, as it hosts seven World Cup matches.