7 Aug 2013

Christchurch's new stadium to miss Lions tour

3:04 pm on 7 August 2013

Christchurch's new sports stadium may not be completed until late 2017, meaning it would not be finished in time for the tour by the British and Irish Lions in the middle of that year.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has released updated indications of when key anchor projects for the city's rebuild will be completed.

According to the schedule, the stadium is expected to be completed in late 2017, while the Lions will be touring during the rugby season in the middle of that year.

The schedule shows the metro sports facility and convention centre are expected to be completed in early 2017.

The central city bus exchange and the Avon river precinct are both due to be completed by mid 2015.

The Earthquake Recovery Authority said the timeframes are being constantly updated and revised as more planning is done and more information comes to hand.

RU disappointed

The Christchurch Rugby Union says it would extremely disappointing for Christchurch rugby fans if the city misses out on hosting games during the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour.

Chief executive of the Canterbury Rugby Union, Hamish Riach, accepts a new stadium is not the city's highest priority, but says without it Christchurch would again miss out on a major rugby event.

"It would be a dreadful disappointment to be at an opening of a new stadium three or four months after the Lions had left."

He says taking part in the tour would be great for the local economy and community.