Calls for Christchurch City Council to increase capacity of the new multi-use stadium

The AM Show 27/07/2021

The battle continues to rage over the number of seats that should be added to Christchurch's new $473 million dollar stadium. The council has been asked to overturn its decision to reduce seat numbers.

Christchurch City Councilor Aaron Kew joined The AM Show wearing an All Black jersey this morning and discussed why he believes 25,000 seats isn't enough. Ryan Bridge commented that Kew looked unhappy to which the councillor replied,

"Well, I'm very happy on the inside, but I'm wearing my All Black jersey because I just missed out by 5000 seats on getting tickets to the game."

Counselor Sarah Templeton claims that it's spreading misinformation as the All Blacks and concerts will still come, even with the reduction of seats. However the city will have to pay higher incentive fees. Kew replied,

"Well, aspects of the true contours will still come. But if there's another venue in New Zealand that can hold more people, the promoter will go there. All blacks will still come. Will they be first tier games? Probably not."

"Some will be. I would expect the All Blacks to come here. Half of them are from here, so at least travel costs for them. So it would be good to host them. But I mean, we're New Zealand's second largest city, so we should have the second largest stadium or very close to not the fourth largest."

It could cost approximately $88-$131 million dollars for the 30,000 seats that councilor Aaron Kew would like. According to councilor Sarah Templeton it would also cost $8-$10 million dollars for incentive payments.

"There's a group of us that are striving to make Christchurch one of the most livable cities in the world. And so we don't strive for mediocrity. We are striving for a city that people aspire to be a part of."

"And part of that is the stadium. The 8-10 million dollars for incentive payments would be just for the first few years. That won't be for the life of the stadium. You're talking a 100 year venue Christchurch, which is rapidly heading towards half a million people."

"Canterbury at some point will hit a million people and the stadium will be way out of size at that point. Those are the costs, the $88 million to the $130 [million]. The $130 [million] is far fetched, the 88 million. Our group of five councilors dubbed the 'frugal five' or I prefer fiscal. Our numbers show that that numbers probably up by around $20 million dollars."

"But we're not suggesting that this is put on the ratepayer. We want to have a conversation with the government. They've got a Covid response fund. Apparently, these costs are Covid related blowouts. So let's have a conversation with them and our neighboring councils in [Waimakariri] and Selwyn, for them to also contribute towards the stadium with just asking for a conversation."

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