A review of Christchurch’s Metro Sports Facility has identified savings of more than $50 million and cleared the way for work on the long-awaited project to proceed.
The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Dr Megan Woods, announced the outcome of the review this morning and confirmed the business case for the city’s new stadium will be fast-tracked.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel says it is a positive step forward and brings the city closer to getting the major sporting facilities it needs. It also provides certainty to local developers and businesses.
“The savings in the Metro Sports Facility can be achieved without compromising its functionality so we will still get all sporting facilities we need, just without a few of the extras that ironically weren’t in the best interest of the users of the facility,’’ the Mayor says.
“The revised design has the support of the sporting codes and will also result in operational savings over the life of the facility, which means it will cost ratepayers less to run in the long-term. It is a great outcome and allows us to proceed with certainty,’’ the Mayor says.
“I want to thank the sports codes for the time and energy they had dedicated to this review. It is a great example of how Council and Government can work together with stakeholders to get a great result for Christchurch.’’
The Metro Sports Facility is one of the anchor projects identified in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and was initially scheduled for completion in early 2016.
In November last year the delays and a projected cost over-run of $75 million prompted Dr Woods to order a review of the project. This morning she announced that as a result of the review, Ōtākaro Ltd, the Council, Sport NZ and Sport Canterbury have identified ways to cut about $50 million in costs from the project.
It is now ready to go to market to confirm the final cost.
“The detailed design work completed by Ōtākaro has removed cosmetic elements of the design that were adding significant costs. This has allowed big savings not only in the cost of construction but also the ongoing operating cost which will be borne by ratepayers,’’ Dr Woods says.
The facility remains on track to open in 2021 – the revised timeline set out by the Government late last year. It will have nine indoor courts and a 10-lane, 50-metre pool, a fitness centre and other indoor studios.
Dr Woods also announced the Crown and the Council have worked together to fast-track work on the stadium to the point where work can begin on a detailed business case.
“Obviously the details will be subject to that business case but we foresee a roofed stadium that will allow the city to host major test matches,’’ Dr Woods says.
“Council now has the option, subject to funding, to bring timelines on the stadium forward. That means Christchurch is closer than ever to having a permanent stadium.
Mayor Dalziel says there has been consistent feedback from stakeholders that work on the stadium should be fast-tracked and the Council has received a number of Long Term Plan submissions to that effect.
“The option of bringing forward funding for the stadium is something we will consider as part of our Long Term Plan deliberations in June,’’ the Mayor says.
Currently the Council’s $253 million contribution towards the stadium is budgeted to be spent over three years, beginning in mid 2023.