After all of the tragedy the country has faced as a result of natural disasters, New Zealanders will have something to look forward to this week as construction is in its final stages of million dollar upgrades added in preparation for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The much-celebrated game will bring in copious amounts of spectators, therefore refurbishments to original playing fields and the construction of added facilities had to be undertaken. The country has got a very strong case of rugby fever, as much needed re-construction efforts have gone into several areas around the country in order to cater for the games, as well as lift the people’s spirits.
One of the major renovations has taken place at Auckland’s Eden Park, the cities historic sporting ground. The $250 million upgrade will seat 60,000 comfortably for the big game, with a general season capacity for 50,000 per game.
The advancements to the stadium include a new Southern Stand and linking areas to create the perfect stage for the world-class game. There have also been major improvements to the access of the venue, bringing it up to par with its foreign sporting ground competitors.
Further construction efforts are in their last stages at the Forsythe Barr Stadium, which will play host to four matches of the 2011 cup.
Construction commenced in 2009 on the $198.3 million building. Design by Populous the stadium will become the country’s first and only fully enclosed grass stadium. The permanent seat capacity is based at 17,242 but will be expanded to 30,514 for the big crowds during the world cup.
The stadium features design aspects such as 37 metre high UV transmitting ethylene tetrafluoroethylen (EFTE) roofing, which is a clear roofing material that offers for optimum viewing capacity.
The stadium in Dunedin’s North replaces the current Carisbrook, which has been heavily reported as “decrepit” and insufficient for the games. It is however a very handy safe-guard against any further delays on the construction of the new stadium, which is still set to be completed with enough time for several test runs before the first game on September 10.
Modern accessibility modes and food areas have also taken priority to cater for all spectators needs.
Further upgrades in Auckland include those, which have been undertaken at the city’s Kingsland Station. The renovations to the station are expected to exceed $2 million, but have been deemed necessary to handle the large crowds expected at the world cup.
New canopies of 36 metres will be added at the Western end of the station. Another 18 metres will be added at the City end. This will help to accommodate passengers in a more comfortable fashion, as well as cater to an overall upgrade to the station.
The station has a completion date that is just in time for the Bledisloe Cup in August.
While the countries construction efforts race towards an August finish, all of the different projects are moving in a positive direction. The added revenue that is expected to be gained from the popular sporting event will only mean further positive developments for the country.