Monday, June 27, 2011

All Blacks may never play at AMI - the end of Lancaster Park as an international sports facility...

All Blacks may never play at AMI Stadium again - shocking revelation...

The New Zealand Rugby Union has conceded that the All Blacks may never play at Christchurch's AMI Stadium again.

Earthquake damage to the ground on 22 February meant the city's World Cup games were transferred elsewhere while the Crusaders had to play all their Super 15 matches away from the city.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew says what will happen to the ground, which opened in 1881 as Lancaster Park and hosted its first All Blacks test in 1913, will be up to the Christchurch community and the government.

Mr Tew says the NZRU's considering re-developing Rugby Park and Rugby League Park in Christchurch but says the Crusaders may again have to play all of of their Super rugby matches outside of Christchurch next year as well.

He says they simply don't know what the future holds for the ground with the possibility it could be back operating again next year to never at all.

Mr Tew says they have an All Blacks test pencilled in for Christchurch next year but an alternative venue is also being arranged.

He says the venue is being regularly assessed in the wake of aftershocks.

KR: This  revelation really shocked me, somebody born in Christchurch and brought up following rugby and cricket on the historical Lancaster Park. I competed on this park as a schoolboy and, in my latter years,  have learned that it may be the end of this ground as an international sports  facility. So very sad. Nature can be so very cruel!

Acknowledgements:  © 2011, Radio New Zealand

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