100 Days to Rebuild a Stadium: Warren Goddard, Consultant

 

Warren Goddard

Describe your occupation.

I am the Managing Director of a sports marketing consultancy, based in Christchurch.

What do you find are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

Helping to fund and do the marketing of wonderful brands, organizations, and people especially, in order to help people achieve their dreams and aspirations through sports.

Describe what the quake was like to you.

It was very challenging, as the earthquake sequence spread over more than two years, and there have now been over 11,000 individual earthquake events in our city and region… some smaller and several very significant… much of what we enjoyed as a city has been changed or destroyed forever.

What does rugby mean to New Zealand and why was it so important for you to get involved in rebuilding?

Rugby in New Zealand is akin to Football in the US.

It is most New Zealanders’ favorite passion, and also our national sport. Our national team, the All Blacks, are the current World Champions. (www.AllBlacks.co.nz)

Furthermore, Christchurch has the most successful club team in the Southern Hemisphere. It competes against teams from South Africa, Australia, and others who play in a 15 team professional rugby competition called Super Rugby.

The local Christchurch team is called the Crusaders (www.crusaders.co.nz), and they are a very successful organization, having won 7 Super Rugby titles in the past 17 years, while making 11 finals and 14 semifinals in the past 15 years.

Rugby receives the most dominant public interest, television coverage, and wider media exposure of all sports in New Zealand, because New Zealanders simply love their rugby. It was important for me as a lover of Rugby and as someone with a long history of involvement with the Crusaders to play the role of the catalyst in finding a stadium solution for rugby after the earthquake rendered our previous stadium unusable (www.amistadium.co.nz). Otherwise, Christchurch could have lost their beloved Crusaders team to another New Zealand city.

I assembled the original group of architects, (Mr. Daryl Maguire of www.populus.co.nz) and temporary stadium builders and designers (Mark Irvine of www.acrow.co.nz) to design a temporary stadium solution, including costs. We basically proactively tabled a solution before we submitted our plans to the government via our national rugby organization for government funding and support.

To cut a long story short, the NZ Government, via our New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, and key government minister for Christchurch, Gerry Brownlee, approved the funding of NZ $35 million dollars to build Christchurch a temporary stadium, primarily for the use of rugby, but also as a venue to hold other events such as concerts. Many of the city’s venues and large facilities had either been severely damaged or destroyed.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister appointed a government agency to drive the detailed final design and the build of what is now a new temporary stadium (also known as the AMI Stadium, for the people of Christchurch).

While the stadium build was progressing, I also assisted the government by securing a stadium naming rights sponsor (AMI Insurance) to help the government offset some of its significant investment in the stadium.

What was your role in the rebuilding of the temporary rugby stadium?

As described earlier, I was simply a catalyst, although I also assisted in sourcing and securing a playing turf solution, and a lighting solution for the stadium.

What were the steps in the construction/organization of the plan?

The government appointed a construction company to execute the stadium build. The company, Hawkins, built the temporary stadium in 100 days, which was quite a remarkable feat.

How much did the project cost?

NZ $35 million dollars.

How did you get the funding?

The stadium was government funded.

How were you able to get a temporary stadium created in such a short period of time?

Everyone, from central government to local politicians, to designers, suppliers, etc. worked extremely hard to deliver a stadium for the people of Christchurch. The temporary stadium almost became a symbol of the city’s spirit… to prove that we would and could rebuilt our beloved city.

In completing the project, what was the biggest challenge your team had to overcome?

Securing the total level of government funding for the stadium, and the timeline to build and erect the stadium.

What was the first rugby game like post-quake?

A truly remarkable and emotional game day… where the local rugby team the Crusaders prevailed and won over a team from South Africa called the Cheetahs.

While it only took 100 days to actually build the stadium, by the time the first game arrived, the local team (the Crusaders) had not played in their home city for nearly two years.

The Crusaders had been forced to play all of the previous (2011) season games away from their Christchurch home, because they didn’t have a home stadium in which to play. However, the Crusaders still managed to reach the 2011 Super Rugby final against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane, Australia!

 

Crowds gather in Christchurch's new rugby stadium to watch the first rugby match after an earthquake devastated the old stadium in 2011. Photograph courtesy of Warren and Kerry Goddard.

Crowds gather in Christchurch’s new rugby stadium to watch the first rugby match after an earthquake devastated the old stadium in 2011. Photograph courtesy of Warren and Kerry Goddard.

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