New Zealand: Christchurch Stadium goes smaller due to cost-cutting

source: [TS]; author: Tomasz

New Zealand: Christchurch Stadium goes smaller due to cost-cutting The surge of steel prices and shipping expenses worldwide led to reduction of the venue's capacity. Increased scale of costs needed to accommodate additional seating didn't help either.


Smaller stadium to reduce costs

The original plan was that Christchurch Stadium would have 25,000 permanent seats and an option to add another 5,000 for major rugby and football games. Unfortunately, after verifying the costs of the initial concept design, it turned out that in the worst-case scenario, the budget would be exceeded by up to $131.4m.

The initial forecast for the construction of the arena was $473m. However, after a cost analysis by the consortium responsible for the work (Kōtui), it was announced that the project could be implemented, but for an amount in the range of $561.8m and $604.4m.

Christchurch new domed stadium

Therefore, at this point, the creation of a 25,000-seat stadium with a U-shaped concourse is being considered. This would ensure that the investment costs are not exceeded. Concert staging on the field of play and a full level 1 concourse will have to be abandoned.

How many of these 25,000 seats will be permanent and how many temporary is still unknown. Certainly, new design solutions will be sought that allow to increase the capacity of the facility to 27,500 in the future, while maintaining the cost level of the original budget.

Chances of major rugby games will decrease?

The advantage of the new proposal is that up to 36,000 spectators can enter the stadium during music events and the risk of damage to the playing field is kept to a minimum. This would be possible thanks to the construction of a concrete slab at the southern end of the pitch. This slab is where the 2,500 seats - that can be added on top of the 25,000 - can go.

Christchurch new domed stadium

The construction of a smaller-than-planned venue could pose a problem for Christchurch in attracting important “All Blacks” matches without incurring additional expenses. Crusaders (local rugby union side) are also assuming that they will need a 30,000-seat facility if they advance to the league finals, as they are able to sell so many tickets.

Christchurch Stadium is now around 4 to 8 weeks behind schedule. Whether the change in capacity would add any further delays would be known once the preliminary design work was under way. On July 22, Christchurch councilors approved the stadium's reduction from 30,000 to a minimum of 25,000.

Author: Tomasz Sobura