Christchurch: Multi-use arena scoping study released

The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel released the Terms of Reference for a pre-feasibility study into a new multi-use arena in Christchurch on Friday May 26.

Earlier this month the Government announced it would fund a pre-feasibility study to consider the size, cost and viability of an arena, as well as opportunities for a wider ‘Arena Precinct’.

The Terms of Reference, which have been agreed by the Crown and Christchurch City Council, set out the purpose and the operational and financial viability of the arena model.

Any potential development will need to be a multi-use sports and entertainment venue to maximise opportunities for regional, national and international events to ensure that it will not be a burden on ratepayers in the way it could have been if it was just a sporting stadium.

The Christchurch Stadium Trust, which owns the temporary AMI Stadium in Addington, will undertake the pre-feasibility report. It will report back to the Minister and Christchurch City Council by the end of July.

Multi-use arena: Additional information

The Christchurch Stadium Trust — owner of the temporary AMI Stadium in Addington — has been tasked with carrying out a pre-feasibility report for a new multi-use arena in Christchurch.

Under the central city Blueprint, the land between three city blocks bounded by Hereford, Tuam, Madras and Barbadoes streets was designated for the anchor project. Most of the designated land has been purchased by the Crown and negotiations for the remaining parcels continue.

Terms of Reference for pre-feasibility study


  • Undertake a preliminary study to determine, analyse and test the scope and potential of the Arena Precinct, which has regard to Christchurch’s recovery progress and current event/entertainment trends;
  • Identify a shortlist of options, and provide guidance and some recommendations on the most promising options for the facilities, amenities and Precinct infrastructure necessary to deliver the vision of the site;
  • Address and consider the operational and financial viability of a “model arena”, with economic attributes to spread the financial burden;
  • Consider the arena business model’s sustainability, including the likely utilisation profile, its ability to attract events and generate non-event day revenue (current, future, potential), manage operating costs, draw events/crowds and increase opportunities for commercial investment;
  • In light of current committed funding, identify the key trade-offs and any determinative factors that may influence the scope and scale of the project; and
  • Identify the next steps required to inform decision-making on investment in a multi-use arena.

Key Considerations:

  • An assessment of the right size and configuration of a multi-use arena in the Canterbury and New Zealand context, taking account of competition effects from other venues — regional, national and international.
  • Objectives for the project, critical success factors, and relative importance of key trade-offs.
  • Opportunities for the wider Arena Precinct and additional investment scope — e.g. sports science/innovation hub, hotel, apartment/ commercial office mixed use.
  • Connections to the vision and the city itself, and integration with the wider Central City Recovery Plan.
  • Current committed funding (Council $250 million and Crown land contribution) and potential ballpark costs.

Related articles:
Crown to fund Stadium pre-feasibility study

Image credit: Otakaro Ltd