There are many great things that have happened in the Christchurch rebuild. Getting a replacement stadium for the broken Lancaster Park isn't one of them.
A decade on from the devastation of February 22, the Christchurch City Council has voted on a 25,000-capacity stadium - down by 5000 from the original plan. When concepts were originally being thrown around, many argued for a capacity of 35,000.
So why 25,000? That's an easy answer. Ten years of faffing about and achieving nothing has got us to this point. The blame lies fairly and squarely at the doorstep of the Christchurch City Council. Anyone with the most rudimentary understandings of the commercial world knows that the longer you delay, the higher the costs will be.
Previous councils seem to have lacked that understanding, and the budget has blown out by more than $130 million before the shovels have even arrived on site. It's been made even worse by the global pandemic.
Sport has been the poor relation in Christchurch post-quake. QE2 Stadium, which housed so many sports in the region, was destroyed. Only now is the replacement, Metro Sports Hub, under construction. Nga Puna Wai is up and running with its hockey turfs, league grounds, and track and field facilities.
Do I feel any gratitude? None whatsoever. This is merely the minimum requirement for New Zealand's second-largest city.
The stadium rebuild has been at the bottom of the pile and has always been the first thing that got bumped back when the books looked increasingly bad. In fact, we can probably thank singer Ed Sheeran for making it happen at all. It took a few councillors getting caught up in an appallingly slow trip down State Highway One to Dunedin for his 2018 concert to finally realise that sending heaps of dosh south probably wasn't a great idea.
The Christchurch Town Hall, Turanga (Central Library), Te Pae Convention Centre, Isaac Theatre Royal, the Arts Centre - no issues finding the money for these projects. No drama finding just over $800,000 for a couple of Gormley sculptures.
I don't have a problem with this - well, apart from the questionable sculptures, but that's art for you.
Any city without a vibrant artistic and performing arts culture is little more than a pumped-up Deliverance, or 1960s hydro town. But what is the potential return from these projects? How do the numbers stack up against the multi-purpose arena?
The most frustrating part about the stadium saga is that it's not the first time the council has got this wrong.
Exhibit A: Lancaster Park. Back in the 90s, when former NZR boss David Moffett essentially said the venue was no longer fit for purpose with its tired old embankments, rugby, cricket and the council got together to try and build a venue that would still secure top-tier fixtures.
The redevelopment was an epic fail.
It wasn't entirely the fault of the council, with both rugby and cricket somewhat disingenuous in their posturing and so on, but it wasn't helped by councillors and a mayor who had little interest in sport, making the decisions. The result was a stadium that was too big for rugby, too small for cricket, and most of the fans got rained on. #whiteelephant.
The problem then was that the venue wasn't future-proofed. And therein lies the guts of the whole issue, indeed the one question that needs to be asked: will this multipurpose arena be future-proofed?
Having a roof is a big plus, and some would argue that despite having a capacity nearly 6000 lighter than what Dunedin's Forsyth Barr offers, Christchurch's accommodation options will give the city an advantage over our southern neighbours when it comes to hosting international sports events or concerts. I guess we'll find out. In the meantime, the population will continue to grow.
A great many fans I know boycott the "temporary" Orangetheory Stadium, citing transport difficulties, sitting on top of the person beside you and the cost of food and beverages. Whether they return to a new more user-friendly and comfortable venue is questionable.
There is evidence around the country at other major venues that fewer and fewer are going to watch sport live, and are happier at home in the recliner with their cheap supermarket six-pack. What is certain, is that any further compromises will likely move the venue into becoming "Lancaster Park Revisited".
Fans are sick and tired of politicians cynically seizing sporting photo ops, whether it's John Key having a beer with Richie, or Mayor Lianne Dalziel praising the success of another successful Crusaders campaign.
But when it comes to getting things done, well, they simply don't.
Whether or not the reduced capacity is a good call and the venue is future-proofed is something we won't know for a long time yet. For a great many fans in Canterbury, we simply feel beaten into submission after "the nothing decade".