|24 September 1999|
Redevelopment at Jade Stadium will continue now that an alternative venue has been found for cricket at times of clashes with rugby.
Jade Stadium Ltds development plans were halted briefly in its tracks when cricket authorities reported difficulties in the use of the stadium with a clash of dates over several months at the end of the cricket season.
The Christchurch City Council confirmed on Thursday that the $40 million redevelopment of Jade Stadium for rugby and cricket, and also decided to "continue to co-operate with Canterbury Cricket in the development of the Village Green as an alternative first-class cricket facility, to provide a better venue for provincial cricket, and to relieve pressure on Jade Stadium at critical parts of the season."
Cr David Close said the estimated cost of the development of the Village Green at Queen Elizabeth 11 for cricket was $3.9 million.
That included car parking, a perimeter fence around the playing area, another fence to enclose the spectator area and a pavilion for players, officials, and the media.
Cr Close said the field at the Green was good and there was not reason why Shell Trophy could not be played there.
Between 3000 and 4000 spectators could be seated at the ground.
The Council expected Canterbury Cricket to pay a fair rental for the use of the ground and the upkeep of the wicket, although the Council would develop the ground in the same way it had met the costs of developing other sports fields.
Cr Close said correspondence and comment from the cricket authorities implied an expectation that the Council would meet the cost of a full development of the Village Green. "It must be made clear that that expectation is quite unrealistic," Cr Close said.
The size of Christchurchs population was such that it was uneconomic to provide separate international facilities for both rugby and cricket, he said.
"Indeed, the removal of major cricket matches from Jade Stadium could jeopardise the redevelopment which has been proposed," he said.
"However, the demands of professional rugby, and especially the Super 12 competition, make it difficult to avoid conflict between the codes during the closing period of the cricket season and the opening of the rugby season," Cr Close said.