Future of Christchurch Rugby World Cup games uncertain

Martin Snedden

Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden has ruled out relocating Rugby World Cup matches to Australia after this week’s devastating earthquake in Christchurch.

However, he said it was too early to say what effect the earthquake, which has caused liquefaction in AMI Stadium, would have on the games scheduled for Christchurch.

“It is too early to talk in any detail about implications for the tournament in Christchurch and any assessment by us must wait while the rescue efforts take priority.

“The next step will involve our organisation leading a thorough process of assessing the city’s ability to host the seven RWC 2011 matches scheduled to take place there.

This will involve an assessment of all the key RWC 2011 infrastructure of the city including the stadium, hotels, training facilities and the transport network.

“A detailed evaluation of this nature will take place as soon as is reasonably possible. We are mindful of the pressure the people of Christchurch are under right now and do not want to place any more demands on them.

“Christchurch is a proud rugby city with a rich rugby heritage and we know the tournament means a lot to fans there.

“We are hopeful a clearer picture will emerge in the coming days to allow us to make the right decisions.

“There has been speculation that this tragedy puts the entire event in jeopardy or that matches will relocate to Australia. That is not the case.

“Rest assured, RWC 2011 will proceed and all matches will take place in New Zealand.” 

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13 Comments & Questions

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Can't wait until the last minute...

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Whilst admirable there is talk of retaining it in chch - it is unrealistic. Move Games to Dunedin to keep visitors in South Island. Focus resources on the rebuilding of key infrastructure.

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Here here John
Give the Christchurch games to Ashburton, Nelson, Timaru and the major games to Dunedin.
The Dunedin Stadium looks outstanding at the moment.

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I concur... Its not about Chch being a proud rugby city - it is also about visitor security and confidence - and ensuring we get the tourist dollar.
Would you buy tickets to an event in a city which has had two major earthquakes? Let's at least retain those tourist dollars somewhere in NZ

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Can't stand the hundreds of aftersocks as well...

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The Dunedin Stadium holds less than the AMI and with the two quarter finals being sold out it will be a bit tricky cancelling the allocation of tickets to some punters ... which suggests Wgtn or Auckland for those two games at least

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There are two Dunedin stadiums. Carisbrooke can still hold a large crowd.

If you give all these games to the Jafas you can forget selling out the All Blacks in Dunedin again - and the Jafas won't turn up to all of the games. Boredom will set in. And it is easier for the Cantabs to get to Dunedin than overcrowded Auckland.

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It is an imperfect solution however the inbound tourism was why the NZ tax payer is footing the bill. Perhaps preference should be given to the overseas tourists or on a lottery basis. At least with the southern venues there will be a flow on effect to CHCH as the SI gateway. People who hold tickets still need to travel and still require accommodation - Does Akl and Wellington have the occupancy capacity without pricing it out of reach of south lslanders who would need to travel there? The Rugby Union should have event insurance for loss of revenue on the tickets sales, so the reduced venue capacity would only be an issue for those that miss out on attending.... which would suck.

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Dunedin wouldn't mind some more games, just saying.

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It's also not just the stadium, where are people going to stay? And would people even trust going to Christchurch anymore?

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The games must be moved to the North Island - less hassle with transport, more international standard accommodation, better stadium capacity, infrastructure, better weather......

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Too early to look at change. Common sense says wait and see what reality will be. One thing we know, Allblacks will probably blow their chances, so we do not have to worry about them winning.

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My heart says christchurch. My head says somewhere else.

Some temporary cruise ships should be able to handle accommodation matters. The question is whether the port and Lyttleton can manage the cruise ships.

However, the issues around this idea is this will keep the spend down from overseas tourists, which the government are counting on to balance the books.

I like the idea of Dunedin. Their new stadium looks like a blessing in disguise. The NZRU could always give preferred treatment to existing ticket holders, with the option to upgrade to higher ranking games.

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