Christchurch's Metro Sports Facility gets funding boost


A massive new sports centre in Christchurch will house a competition pool with spectator seating, a 10-metre diving tower, two hydro slides, an outdoor hot pool and nine indoor courts for sports like netball, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

The cost of the Metro Sports Facility is set to rise as the Government has agreed to new "funding parameters" for the project, which stretches more than 70,000sqm of the central city, between Moorhouse Ave, Stewart St, St Asaph St and Antigua St.

Mr Brownlee says the Crown will increase its contribution of $70.3 million, as agreed to in the 2013 Cost Sharing Agreement with the Christchurch City Council, while the council will stick to the $147 million tag already pledged.

He would not reveal how much extra money the Government will pour into the facility to "ensure maintenance of a competitive tendering process".

Authorities hope to open parts of the facility by 2019, with a full opening the following year.

"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," he said in a statement.

"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."

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the new extended plan will be welcomed by locals.

"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," she said in a statement.

"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."

Designs are yet to be completed, but the Government has already purchased most of the land it needs to develop the site.

Mr Brownlee is promising the facility will include:

3 News