By John Dutton-SmithTillvalhalla in Southland was a project of the Football League in New England.
It was the brainchild of New Zealand football legend Jim Leighton, and it was the first time a sports stadium had been built outside of the US.
But the plans were a bit different from what the league had imagined.
Leighton, a Kiwi, was born in London and raised in England.
In the 1970s, he worked as a television cameraman for the National Broadcasting Corporation and was recruited by New Zealand to work in New York.
The first major commercial venture was a $10m deal to build the Wellington Stadium, in Auckland, in 1980.
But it wasn’t until the 1990s that Leighton and his company, The Leighton Group, made a deal with the NRL for the Wellington to be built at a cost of $3.5bn.
It has been a massive undertaking and the cost has now passed $7bn.
There were problems initially, however, when the NRL and Leighton’s group came to a deal to buy the land from the New Zealand Government.
The Government gave the NRL an extra $50m to spend on the stadium and a $200m loan from the Bank of New South Wales.
Levellys company was unable to repay the loan.
The deal was cancelled in 1999.
Leighnes business failed and he sold the Wellington project to his company in 2002.
His company, Leighton Holdings, has continued to operate the stadium, now known as The Leleigh Group.
The Leighton project has become the template for modern sporting stadiums around the world.
But how do you build a sports venue in a rural New Zealand setting without resorting to bulldozers?