Christchurch considers bid for Prince Harry’s Invictus Games


New Zealand's Kiely Pepper, right, and Paul Guest of the UK applaud during the bronze medal wheelchair basketball match at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

Cameron Spencer

New Zealand’s Kiely Pepper, right, and Paul Guest of the UK applaud during the bronze medal wheelchair basketball match at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

Christchurch is considering a bid to host the 2027 edition of Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.

The city’s public economic development agency, ChristchurchNZ, intends to carry out a feasibility study next year, once it has more detailed information on the event.

The games, for wounded or injured servicemen, have taken place four times since their inception in 2014 by Prince Harry.

London, Orlando, Toronto and Sydney have been the hosts so far. The next games will take place in The Hague in 2022, followed by Düsseldorf the following year.

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Twenty nations, including New Zealand, will take part in the games in The Hague, which will take place over eight days.

ChristchurchNZ had previously attempted to bring the 2025 games to New Zealand, but did not make the final list of venues, which were New York, Seattle and Canada.

Christchurch did not reach the final bidding phase due to a weaker market position compared to much larger cities and “uncertain stage times”, a spokesperson for ChristchurchNZ said.

It had been hoped that the games could have been one of the first events at the city’s new $ 533 million stadium, which, at the time, was due to open in late 2024.

INVICTUS NZ TEAM

Craig Wilson talks about his gold medal in the 1500m at the Invictus Games in Sydney. (Video first published in October 2018)

The stadium’s opening has since been postponed to June 2025.

This week, ChristchurchNZ confirmed that it is “reviewing its options” for the 2027 event.

He intended to do a feasibility study, but the decision to move that forward would only be made once more information on the specifications for the 2027 games was received, a spokesperson said.

ChristchurchNZ did not yet know how much the study would cost.

The agency had “further discussions” with the organizers of the Invictus Games, added the spokesperson.

Former US President Barack Obama, left, and Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games, held in Toronto, Canada.

Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images

Former US President Barack Obama, left, and Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games, held in Toronto, Canada.

Defense Minister Peeni Henare said hosting the Invictus Games would be “a special occasion to recognize our fallen, wounded and sick soldiers who served Aotearoa”.

He said he was backing an offer for the games to be held in New Zealand in 2027.

ChristchurchNZ conducted a feasibility study for the games as it sought to bid for the 2025 edition.

The study found that Christchurch had the capacity and the capacity to host the games, but it depended on the support of the major events team from the government and the New Zealand Defense Force.

The Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Jobs has already had discussions with some people involved in efforts to bring the games here in 2027.

Government ministers were briefed on efforts to attract the 2025 games in February.

The briefing, released under the Official Information Act, said the games would cost around $ 25 million to host, but Christchurch could expect an economic boost of $ 36 million and a global TV audience of 1 , 5 billion.

A government investment of $ 8 million was expected, according to the briefing.

He also said: “Prince Harry wants the games to take place here.”


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