abinet has agreed funding parameters that will ensure Christchurch’s Metro Sports Facility is a multi-generational asset that meets the needs of Canterbury’s diverse elite, competitive and leisure sports sectors, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.
“To ensure maintenance of a competitive tendering process we won’t be revealing the agreed financial cap on the Crown’s commitment to delivery of the facility at this time, other than to say it is greater than the $70.3 million in the 2013 Cost Sharing Agreement between the Government and the Christchurch City Council,” Mr Brownlee says.
The Government has already purchased most of the land required to develop the facility on a central Christchurch site spanning over 70,000sqm between Moorhouse Avenue, Stewart Street, St Asaph Street and Antigua Street.
“Part of what this new funding commitment will do is see High Performance Sport New Zealand’s training base for elite athletes move from its temporary facility at Jellie Park in suburban Burnside to the central city.
“This will make the Metro Sports Facility a true hub for Canterbury’s sporting community, allowing children of all ages and stages in their sporting development to rub shoulders with some of the country’s finest athletes.
“When combined with Christchurch City Council’s already committed $147 million we are confident of delivering an outstanding aquatic and indoor sports facility, and officials can now begin the process of tendering for design and construction,” Mr Brownlee says.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says agreement on funding and facilities will be welcomed by the people of Christchurch, Canterbury and beyond.
“The earthquakes have had a massive impact on the region’s sporting facilities and I’m confident this new centre will reignite sport and recreation participation rates, and be another good reason to live in the central city,” Ms Dalziel says.
“Our residents told us through the 'Share an Idea' initiative that they wanted a centrally located, top-class sports and recreational centre that could be a hub of activity for people of all ages and abilities within our community.
“That’s what the Metro Sports Facility will become, as well as a centre of high performance for aspiring athletes in the region.”
While the design of the Metro Sports Facility is still to take place, the agreed funding package means it will include the following:
An indoor aquatic hall with a 79m, 10-lane competition pool and spectator seating for 1000 people
A 10m diving tower and warm water pool
A learn-to-swim pool
A leisure water area, with outdoor hot pools and two hydroslides
Nine indoor courts for sports such as netball, basketball, futsal, floor ball, and other indoor sports, including retractable seating for 2500 spectators and function/VIP areas
Sport New Zealand’s high performance area, which will include facilities for athletes and space for administration
A large gym/weights facility, with up to five group fitness/multi-purpose rooms and sports health consulting rooms and facilities
Four studio spaces for movement activity like dance
A Sports House for administration of different sports
A café, childcare facility and car parking for 500 vehicles (with the ability to expand in the future)
Mr Brownlee says the intention at this stage is to have some of the facility open to the public in 2019, and the remainder in 2020.
“As we work through the facility’s design and construction we will be looking closely at what opportunities there are to shorten those timeframes.
“What we know is the business case for this facility is strong, with over two million visits to the facility a year expected once it opens, so we’re very pleased to have reached this important milestone.”