Christchurch councillors vote to reduce stadium capacity

The site of the new Christchurch stadium.


Christchurch city councillors have voted to reduce the capacity of its new stadium, in a bid to stop ballooning costs.

The initial plan was for the indoor stadium to have 30,000 seats, but councillors voted this afternoon to reduce it to 25,000 seats.

It came after the group behind the project estimated that keeping the original design would mean an $88 million budget blow-out.

Officials say it is because of changes from the initial business case for the stadium, the rising cost of steel and increasing shipping costs.

The budget stands at $473m, of which $220m in funding is from the Crown.

New Zealand Rugby had earlier warned the council that reducing the indoor stadium size to 25,000 would make the arena too small for major international rugby games – unless a substantial incentive fee was on offer.

Murray Strong, who was chairperson of the board of the CMUA (Canterbury Multi-Use Arena) Project Delivery Company, resigned on Friday.

In a statement, council chief executive Dawn Baxendale said the council will appoint a new chairperson of the board once the review of the project’s governance needs has been completed.