• World’s first fully-enclosed grassed stadium opens in Dunedin

    22 October 2011

    Opened in August by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in time for the Rugby World Cup 2011, Otago Stadium, formally known as Forsyth Barr Stadium at University Plaza is the world’s first fully-enclosed grassed stadium. Colloquially referred to as The Glasshouse due to its resemblance to a horticultural hot-house, the stadium roof was constructed with a clear ETFE (ethyltetrafluoroethylene) cladding which is the same material used at the world-famous Water Cube in Beijing. With a capacity of nearly 31,000, Otago Stadium was designed by Populous and Jasmax JV, constructed by Hawkins Construction commencing in May 2009.

    In the latter half of 19th Century an inland gold rush briefly propelled the town’s importance nationally, but now Dunedin’s main claim to fame is that nothing much has happened there in over 100 years. As such this southern outpost boasts some of the country’s finest 19th Century residences and Victorian structures. The arrival of the stunning NZ$200 million stadium must have come as a welcome relief for the local building industry, as well as the typically sports-mad locals.

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