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Temporary restriction at National Stadium

Wednesday 26 April 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Other Sports, Sports

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As a ‘precautionary measure’, Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) with Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) will over the next few months, at various times while work is being undertaken, close the grandstand, or restrict the number of people sitting on the grandstand at Tereora/National Stadium to 75, effective immediately.

This announcement follows a detailed structural assessment of the grandstand at the National Stadium in March this year by Calibre Consulting Ltd.

In a statement, CIIC chief executive officer Allan Jensen said a structural engineering firm was engaged by CIIC to assess the grandstand for developing a longer term plan for required works to future proof the stadium’s infrastructure and facilities and as part of its periodic asset management programme.

The assessment formalised the condition of the grandstand and identified the extent of maintenance and rehabilitation works required, given the age of the grandstand, and better inform decisions on future investments at the stadium.

Jensen says the assessment has not surprisingly identified some corrosion to the structural steel that supports the concrete seats, as well as other issues to address in the short and medium term.

Excessive rainfalls causing drainage issues have and are affecting the structure and foundations, and these drainage issues are part of the plan to be addressed.

Targeted remedial work is set to start in the next month or two, following final design and scoping, and will likely be completed by September 2023, Jensen says. This will enable the return to full capacity seating on the grandstand. Ongoing remedial work is expected following targeted remedial work over the following months, to future proof the grandstand.

To manage the number of people sitting on the grandstand at one time, cordons, barriers, and signage will be put in place on the grandstand.

Stadium staff will be present while the stadium is open to ensure no persons use the grandstand or enforce the 75-person limit is managed when this is applicable.

Members of the public can continue to use and enjoy selected areas of the grandstand and there will otherwise be full access to the wider stadium and public amenities for their convenience during opening hours.

Large events will be managed between CISNOC and CIIC on a case-by-case basis.

Along the first few seating rows up from the base, cordons, barriers, and signs will be placed, which will specify conditions of use.

“This is a purely precautionary and conservative approach, and for the safety of our workers and users of the facilities we ask the public to respect the signage and restricted areas when they are in place,” said Jensen.

The Tereora Stadium also known as the National Stadium or BCI Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Nikao. It is currently used by a range of sporting codes and schools, including for rugby and athletics.

On April 13, 2021, CIIC and CISNOC signed a memorandum of understanding for the co-management of the stadium and arena, with its focus in “encouraging all Cook Islanders to live more active and healthier lifestyles”.

The Stadium grandstand was constructed in the early 1980s, with the last major refurbishment undertaken from 2007 to 2009 prior to the hosting of the Pacific Mini Games. The grandstand is steel framed, with concrete terraced seating, light metal roofing and end walls. Below the grandstand are bathroom and change room facilities, offices, and other amenities.

The Cook Islands Government has funded a number of capital improvements programmes to both facilities including remedial works on the indoor arena structural steel in 2021 and more recently at the stadium with the drainage system installation near the western corner of the track and the new deck for spectators and vendors during the Cook Islands Games 2022.

Further investment is planned in the near future, including an upgrade of the field and track, along with lighting and other improvements.

Jensen says the community’s cooperation is appreciated and thanks members of the public in advance for their understanding and cooperation.