NZ Government pledge to re-turf stadium - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ Government pledge to re-turf stadium

16/03/2011 04:43:54 PM Comments (0)

The New Zealand Government has pledged $NZ4.1 million ($A3.04 million) to help restore Christchurch's Ami Stadium, amid fears earthquake damage would prevent its use even next year.

Christchurch lost all of their Rugby World Cup matches on Wednesday, with the stadium in ruins after the February 22 quake.

Two quarter-finals set for Christchurch will go to Auckland and five pool matches will be re-allocated to venues yet to be determined, after officials accepted the stadium could not be ready for the October event.

Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully told a Christchurch press conference there were fears the stadium would not even be ready for the 2012 season, so the Government has stepped in.

"While the structure is covered by insurance, the turf is not, leaving a $4.1 million funding gap in any restoration project," he said.

"I am therefore pleased to announce today that the Government will make a $4.1 million grant to the stadium, for the specific purpose of allowing work on the turf re-establishment."

That should remove a major obstacle and restore confidence the stadium would be ready "some time early in 2012", he said.

Cantabrians who had bought quarter-final tickets in the expectation the game would be in Christchurch, would be given "affordable" travel options so they could see those games in Auckland, he said.

The Government and Christchurch mayor Bob Parker had begun work on developing public viewing areas for World Cup matches, so that Cantabrians could get the "best experience", off watching games televised on big screens.

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