Sports project wants coun­cil cash

The Press - - News -

An­other multi-mil­lion dol­lar sports cen­tre is on the cards for Christchurch – and the groups in­volved want coun­cil cash to sup­port it.

The mys­te­ri­ous pro­posal is the lat­est in a stream of postearthquake recre­ation projects in the city, in­clud­ing the pro­posed North­cote En­ter­tain­ment and Sports Ter­mi­nus (NEST) and the Crown-coun­cil metro sports fa­cil­ity.

Christchurch City Coun­cil is con­tribut­ing $147 mil­lion to the metro fa­cil­ity, which is ex­pected to have nine sports courts, and the devel­op­ers of NEST, with up to 30 courts, want sup­port too, es­ti­mat­ing the coun­cil could lease the ter­mi­nus for $1.5m a year.

Christchurch Netball Cen­tre’s Me­gan McLay said an ‘‘anony­mous bene­fac­tor’’ had ap­proached the or­gan­i­sa­tion with the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop a sta­dium with up to 10 in­door courts for netball, fut­sal and other sports.

‘‘The bene­fac­tor has in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to make an in­vest­ment of up to $15m to the project, which is a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment and a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity,’’ McLay said, while sub­mit­ting on coun­cil’s long-term plan yes­ter­day. ‘‘One point that was con­stantly made is that even with [the] metro [sports fa­cil­ity] there is a sig­nif­i­cant short­age of mul­ti­court fa­cil­i­ties in Christchurch and that there will re­main a sig­nif­i­cant short­age of qual­ity in­door venues for all sports if fur­ther fa­cil­i­ties are not pro­vided.’’

The netball or­gan­i­sa­tion and Main­land Foot­ball are re­quest­ing ‘‘sup­port and as­sis­tance from the coun­cil’’ to help the fa­cil­ity ‘‘come to fruition within the next 12 to 18 months’’.

In a writ­ten sub­mis­sion, the groups asked as­sis­tance to ‘‘re­duce costs’’ and ‘‘help nav­i­gate’’ re­quire­ments to build the fa­cil­ity. They also re­quested a con­tri­bu­tion to the fit-out, but did not spec­ify how much.

When con­tacted, McLay would not con­firm the bene­fac­tor, but con­firmed it was not the NEST devel­op­ers. ‘‘I’ll cer­tainly get in touch with you when we can share a bit more,’’ she said.

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