Rugby World Cup package for ChristchurchRugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup Minister, Murray McCully, has announced a package of initiatives in response to Rugby World Cup matches being allocated away from Christchurch.
The government along with the International Rugby Board and the tournament organisers announced this afternoon Christchurch won’t host the matches because of a range of risks.
“We are acutely aware that without some initiative from the government AMI Stadium is unlikely to be in use for the 2012 season, due to the extensive damage to the uninsured turf,” said Mr McCully.
“I am therefore pleased to announce that the government will grant $4.1 million to allow the turf repair work to commence immediately, in order for AMI Stadium to be ready for the full NPC and Super Rugby in 2012.”
“The stadium is an important sport and recreation asset and revenue earner for the region, and I am pleased that we can assist to ensure it is repaired as quickly as possible,” he said.
The Minister says there is also recognition that Christchurch-based fans will be extremely disappointed that they can’t watch any matches in their home town. Some have purchased tickets to games expecting them to be at AMI stadium.
“With today’s confirmation that the quarter finals will be moved to Auckland we have started work to develop a special travel package which will allow those who have already purchased tickets to the quarter finals to travel to Auckland on a concessional basis. We hope to have details finalised over the next few days,” said Mr McCully.
“This will ensure that Christchurch people who purchased tickets for what they believed to be a local game are able to travel to the quarter finals on an affordable basis,” he said.
For those Cantabrians without RWC tickets we are turning attention to a full programme of fan zones with large screens and public entertainment to ensure that they can also participate in the tournament. More details will be announced in the next few weeks.
“We hope that these initiatives will ensure that, while disappointed, the people of Christchurch will still be able to celebrate and participate in the Rugby World Cup and the associated festival,” said Mr McCully.
For today’s media release by the tournament organisers go to www.rugbyworldcup.com