Sunday, May 19, 2024

Canterbury arena to restore 5,000 seats

Christchurch City Council has voted to restore the seating capacity of the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena by 5,000 seats to 30,000.

The decision to restore the extra 5,000 seats will impact on the overall cost of the project – adding around $50 million to the previously approved budget of $473 million.

Council says it will seek to limit the impact of the cost increase on Christchurch and Banks Peninsula ratepayers by pursuing other funding strategies and commercial opportunities.

“The Canterbury Multi-Use Arena will be an amazing regional asset. It will be a venue that people from all across New Zealand will want to visit because it will offer a great visitor experience and the opportunity to see the best performers, the best entertainers, and the best sports teams in action,” said Christchurch Mayor, Lianne Dalziel.

“From the outset we have been determined to build a great arena for our region. It is time to put the debate over the capacity of the arena to rest and get on with the job of building it.

“The post-COVID environment is causing challenges for all construction projects, with rising freight and material costs resulting in price escalations. It will be April or May next year before we have certainty on the arena costs.

“We have a high calibre team of local and international experts led by Australian-based stadium BESIX Watpac and the Kōtui consortium working on this project. I have complete confidence they will deliver us an arena of which we will all be proud.

“They will go away now and work on the preliminary design plans for the arena. We hope to be able to share these with people by the end of the year,’’ Mayor Dalziel said.

As previously agreed, the arena will be designed with a level 1 concourse and a stage at the northern end, which reduces the risk of turf damage from concerts and festivals. The arena will be able to host up to 41,000 people for concerts.

“The arena is the final anchor project of the post-earthquake blueprint. It will offer an unparalleled experience in the heart of our region – the undeniable sporting capital of New Zealand,” the Mayor said.

For more information and updates on the CMUA, visit

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