The Te Kaha Stadium is taking shape and claiming its place in the Christchurch skyline.
On track to open in April 2026, it will provide Christchurch with a facility big enough to host some of the biggest names.
It’s something the Garden City hasn’t had for more than a decade.
“Really excited to get some of the rugby games back up and running,” one woman told Newshub.
“In the past two or three months all that there’s been in Christchurch is the Foo Fighters concert,” one man said.
“I think a wider range of events for sure,” another woman said.
However, the Christchurch City Council is tempering the excitement by proposing to defer the Events Ecosystem Fund for three years to save money as part of its Long-Term Plan.
That eats into the first year of the stadium being open.
The Events Ecosystem Fund allows the city to bid for events and Halswell Councillor Andrei Moore fears deferring it would damage Christchurch’s reputation.
“We’re putting $683 million into a world-class stadium and I think it would be a real shame if we got to that time 15 years post-earthquake [where] it’s ready to go, we’re good but [then] we haven’t put money aside to bid for major events, I suspect there will be other cities having a laugh at us at our expense,” Moore said.
There are concerns about the impact on nearby businesses.
“I think they’ll be absolutely gutted they’ve already put their neck on the line with their business there with the promise there was going to be a stadium back in 2016,” Central City Business Association chair Annabel Turley said.
“It’s really, really short-sighted and it’s disappointing that they’re even contemplating doing this,” she added.
Councillors will decide on Wednesday which recommendations to include in the draft plan, it will then go out for public consultation.
“I want to say Taylor Swift,” one man said.
“Is it bad to say Taylor Swift, tour 2.0?” one woman laughed.
“We need to declare the city is open for business, do it right, do it well and get us up and running,” Moore said.
The infrastructure will certainly be there.