AMI STADIUM CLOSED DUE TO EARTHQUAKE

The $60 million redevelopment at AMI Stadium has ground to a halt as engineers inspect the structure for damage.

The venue has been closed following Saturday's earthquake in New Zealand, which registered 7.1 on the Richter scale.

Further assessments are needed before the ground, which is set to host five Rugby World Cup and two quarterfinals, can be given the all-clear.

AMI Stadium chief executive Bryan Pearson said: "There is a lot of damage and breakage to fixtures and fittings. But that is relatively minor stuff... lights, glassware, ornaments, paintings, mirrors and that sort of stuff.

"'But in terms of major structural damage, at this stage from our preliminary assessment, there is no indication yet that there is an issue.

"Obviously though, we will need to complete further assessments over the coming days."

The earthquake struck nearly nine hours after thousands of rugby fans had headed to AMI Stadium for Friday night's match.

"The modern buildings in Christchurch have suffered very little damage and that is a testament to the quality of the building code," Pearson added.

Posted on 04/09/2010