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 Council has developed an investment case(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 approved the investment case, which is the last of the anchor projects in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan to get underway.

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.

Enabling works will begin in 2020 and it is expected that early construction work will get underway 2021. The arena is expected to open in 2024.

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.


Detailed design for the new arena will begin in 2020. 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 under way on the arena site since late 2018.

Once the investment case is approved and a formal funding agreement is in place, detailed design work will then begin.

On-site enabling works are expected to begin in 2020, with a view to starting early construction works in 2021.

The arena is expected to open in 2024.