Christchurch City agrees to consider investment case for new arena

11 December 2019 (Last Updated December 11th, 2019 09:38)

Christchurch City Council in New Zealand has agreed to consider the investment case for a new multi-use arena to be built in the centre of the city.

Christchurch City agrees to consider investment case for new arena
The arena will feature a minimum seating capacity of 25,000. Credit: © Christchurch City Council.

Christchurch City Council in New Zealand has agreed to consider the investment case for a new multi-use arena to be built in the centre of the city.

Known as the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, the facility is part of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.

The rectangular arena will require a roof to facilitate events throughout the year and feature a minimum seating capacity of 25,000 with a provision to add 5,000 temporary seats.

Inclusion of these specifications while building the arena is estimated to cost $472.7m.

In its 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, the Christchurch City Council has committed to offering $253m to support the construction costs.

Moreover, the Crown has said it would provide $220m for the project and is waiting on the investment case before confirming the funding.

Net operating costs, including lifestyle costs, for the arena, are estimated to be $4.2m a year and the council has allocated $4.1m in its Long-Term Plan to cover these expenses.

The council is expected to deliver the project after signing a funding agreement with the Crown. It will appoint a project board, which will, in turn, appoint a delivery team to form a consortium of contractors to construct the new facility.

Christchurch City Council major facilities vertical capital delivery manager Alistair Pearson said: “At the moment we are not capturing our share of economic benefit from cultural and sporting events. A new arena will provide an anchor and catalyst for CBD recovery and revitalisation and provide a focal point and an attraction for local and international visitors.

“Modelling undertaken for the investment case conservatively estimates that stays in Christchurch will increase by nearly 100,000 bed-nights per annum because of the domestic and international tourism driven by the new arena.”

If approved, the construction of the arena is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year and the facility will potentially open in 2024.