Taranaki Rugby chief executive Jeremy Parkinson has warned the absence of a Taranaki home stadium could become the "new norm".
Taranaki Stadium Trust (TST) announced yesterday that Yarrow Stadium would be unavailable in 2018 after geotechnical testing on the stadium's West Stand showed that it was a significant earthquake risk.
The decision to shut the stadium was received with "shock" from key partners, with local sports fans raising serious questions about where Taranaki would play their home games.
And although TST has already started to investigate potential steps, Parkinson said it could take years for the future of the stadium to be decided.
"It will take process and procedure, as history tells you, look at Christchurch's situation - eight years on and they don't have a stadium - so it's going to be a lot of time," Parkinson told The Mike Hosking Breakfast.
"This was literally out of the blue, we were obviously well aware that the East stand was deemed earthquake-prone in December ... but this is a massive disruption."
"There'll be good support, as there has been in and around the issues with the East stand, but it's just the long term, if this becomes the norm for the next five to eight years, we've just got to deal with that and tailor our business model to live within our means."
Parkinson said his first priority was to identify a stadium suitable for this year's Mitre 10 Cup season and assured that, despite the setbacks, it would get done someway, somehow.
"What I'm concerned about is finding a facility for 2018 where we can defend the shield in the Mitre 10 Cup," he said.
"This is the new norm, the concern is getting lighting levels up to minimum standard for Mitre 10 Cup, as well as changing room facilities, and other infrastructure around the field.
"From a playing perspective, there's no issue, we've got a professional rugby team that's training and ready to go come Mitre 10 Cup time and they're playing another team on a rugby field, it's just the infrastructure around it that we need to get organised."
Taranaki Chamber of Commerce CEO Arun Chaudhari said the news came as a "huge shock" and agreed that it would take time before any plans could be made.
But Chaudhari said he was pleasantly surprised by the positivity expressed by everyone involved with the stadium and said the news is being viewed as a "great opportunity".
"We're just going to turn this into another great opportunity and see what we can do with a new stadium, or an entirely new facility, or a new centre altogether, there's a whole lot of things to think about," said Chaudhari.
"It's too early to speculate what we would do, we just need to first get through the early season and it's going to be a decision which will take some time as to what we do ... we definitely are going to have a new stadium, but it's going to take a long time."