Prime Minister Visits Forsyth Barr Stadium Site
20 November 2009
Today, Prime Minister John Key visited the construction site of the Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza in Dunedin.
The New Zealand Government granted $15 million towards construction of the new, multipurpose roofed stadium earlier this year. Stadium Trust Chairman Malcolm Farry said that the Government’s grant was vital in enabling construction to begin in June this year.
“The Government’s support was a significant endorsement of our region’s ambition to develop an innovative, first-class venue. We are honoured to show the Prime Minister first hand the considerable progress we have made since construction began. The Main South Stand is now up to the second floor and clearly visible. The project is on track for completion by August 2011 to be ready to host Dunedin’s 2011 Rugby World Cup games. Forsyth Barr Stadium is set to be a fitting showcase for the region and New Zealand.
“The construction project is already providing hundreds of jobs which are an important boost for the city in these challenging economic times. Once operational, Forsyth Barr Stadium is expected to provide an estimated ongoing economic benefit for the region in the order of $24 million a year.
“As the world’s only fully roofed stadium over a natural playing surface, we are creating a world first, right here in Dunedin. We believe the Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza has the potential to be in the top rank of Australasian stadia for atmosphere,” said Mr Farry.
Sir John Hansen, Chairman of Dunedin Venue Management Limited, the Council-owned company that will eventually be responsible for operating Forsyth Barr Stadium and other city venues, said he appreciated the Prime Minister taking the time to visit.
“We know Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza will be world class. Its significance is not limited to the events it will host, but also in the ways in which the citizens of Dunedin, and Otago, will be able to use its development and resources to promote all the region has to offer,” said Sir John.