Now the Crusaders have won their eighth title, and created history in doing so, the need for a full and frank conversation around where they play their home matches can hopefully begin.
Their current stadium, a clearing kick from Christchurch's Addington Raceway, is no longer fit for purpose. That was made clear during and after the team's home playoff matches this season: an under-water quarter-final against the Highlanders played during a civil defence state of emergency, and a semifinal in sub-zero temperatures against the Chiefs a week later.
On both occasions, not surprisingly, the crowd attendance was poor, and it's not necessarily because the city has fallen out of love for the game.
It's because rugby supporters there, many of whom have been shaken and beaten down by earthquakes since 2010, don't want to put themselves through any more discomfort than they have to.
The current stadium, a symbol of Christchurch resourcefulness and spirit when it was built in fewer than 100 days following the earthquake in early 2011, has always been by definition a temporary one. It was designed to last only until this year.
It is held up by scaffolding, has no covered concourse, and is uniquely situated to allow the winds from the north-east and south - both cold, the latter especially so - free rein.
It is a freezing, inhospitable place to watch a sporting event for at least six months of the year.
It's not only the Crusaders who deserve better.
So do all of the football codes in the province - particularly rugby league, the sport which used to play at the park now called AMI Stadium.
So too do Cantabrians of all sorts, including concert-goers. Plans have been talked about for a multi-purpose indoor stadium which can seat 35,000 in a so-called "sporting precinct" in the city, but it's time for action, something that Crusaders coach Scott Robertson suggested after his team's famous 25-17 win at Ellis Park.
In the aftermath of his team's victory Robertson was asked about how it might have been extra special given the hard times suffered by the team's loyal supporters.
It was significant that Robertson focused on the future in his reply. He spoke then relatively forcefully of the need for clear-thinking and decisiveness at government level around a new stadium.
"That will work itself out when someone shows some really good leadership around our province and makes a big call and we can play in something we're really proud of," Robertson said.
"They [players] deserve something that's not temporary. I'd better stop there or I'll get myself in trouble.
"It [victory] means a lot to our supporters from the top of the South Island to the middle of the south.
"It's for all of them."
Third time lucky
Crusaders' finals record since earthquakes
• 2011: Robbed of a stadium by the February earthquake, the Crusaders played home matches in Nelson, Napier, Timaru and London. They roared into the final against the Reds in Brisbane on a wave of emotion (following a trip from Cape Town), but it was all too much.
• 2014: A match Todd Blackadder's team should have won against the Waratahs in Sydney but for a poor start and a controversial late penalty by referee Craig Joubert against Richie McCaw for which the South African apologised. Bernard Foley kicked it for a one-point win.
• 2017: Scott Robertson breaks the hoodoo and a nine-year title drought in his first year in charge of the team. The Crusaders lost only one match in the round-robin (to Hurricanes in Wellington) but had to travel to play the Lions in Johannesburg and they held out the fast-finishing home side, who played half the match with 14 men.