From All Black tests and Football World Cup qualifiers to big concerts and events, the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena will be able to host them all.

Crowd of people at music event

The Government and the Council have approved an investment case [PDF, 21MB](external link) for a multi-functional arena to be built in central Christchurch on land bordered by Madras, Barbadoes, Hereford and Tuam streets. 

The Council has allocated $253 million to the project, and the Crown has approved $220 million towards the project(external link) from the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Fund.

It will add to the central city’s vitality and catalyse further development. Read more on Newsline.(external link)

The state-of-the-art arena will also help re-establish Christchurch as a sporting and cultural capital and will boost the city’s economy by attracting visitors from around New Zealand and the world.

On-site contamination investigations have been completed and enabling works, such as relocating existing cables and water services, have begun. Early construction work is scheduled to start in 2021.

The arena is expected to open in 2024.


Detailed design for the new arena will begin later this year once a contractor for the design and construction has been confirmed.

A number of concept designs for the arena were scoped as part of the investment case for the project.

The Investment Case says that in order for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena to be competitive and attract international and national events, it needs to have:

  • A roof so it can host events year-round.
  • Minimum seating capacity of 25,000, with the potential to add temporary seating for a further 5000 in the future.
  • A fixed rectangular turf.
  • High-quality acoustics.

Progress and timelines

The Crown and Council are committed to fast-tracking the process of designing and building the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena and are streamlining the approvals process. Geotechnical investigations have been underway on the arena site since late 2018.

With the investment case approved and a formal funding agreement in place, detailed design work will begin once a contractor has been confirmed.

To help manage or mitigate future noise effects from the Arena, we’ve used the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act to amend the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. We presented the draft Outline of the amendment to the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Megan Woods, in early July.

On-site enabling works have begun, with construction expected to start in 2021.

In May, Murray Strong was announced as the chair of the Council-owned company that will project-manage the arena build. Mr Strong has been involved with several rebuild projects and chaired steering groups for the Metro Sports Facility, the bus interchange, and Te Pae.