Christchurch stadium design and build contractor to be chosen by end of year

Christchurch City Council/Supplied

An artist’s impression of inside the new Christchurch stadium as set up for concerts.

The roof for Christchurch’s new multi-use arena will cost $67.2 million alone – just $20m less than the main structure itself, new documents suggest.

The 25,000-seat covered central city arena is projected to cost a total $473m plus GST, with the Crown to contribute $220m and the Christchurch City Council providing the remaining $253m.

It will hold 35,000 people for concerts, including standing room. Up to 5000 temporary seats could be added at later.

Earlier this week, the council released documents outlining the project for companies interested in designing and building it. The council will pick a preferred contractor in December.

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The contract will be worth up to $390m plus GST. The other $83m is for enabling works like moving existing services, governance costs, insurance, and some contingency funds.

The main construction work on the Madras St site is expected to start in 2022, with the facility due to open by the end of 2024. Enabling works are already under way and groundworks are expected to start next year.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel at the Christchurch stadium site on Monday.

The draft design brief for the stadium, released on Monday, was based on the premise that the previously released stadium concept plan would be further developed, and other options were still to be considered.

The brief said the facility was to have a rectangular pitch, be fully covered, and have a 50-year lifespan.

It must be able to hold a range of events, including sports matches, concerts, expos, festivals and trade shows.

It was expected be the home of council event company Vbase, which would manage the facility, and rugby team The Crusaders.

A cost estimate used to prove the stadium could be built within budget revealed how the $390m contract was expected to break down.

The main structure could cost about $86.7m, of which about $35.7m was for foundations and $41.9 for seating stands.

A further $5.3m may be needed for ground improvements and $9m for ground decontamination.

Christchurch City Council/Supplied

An artist’s impression of inside the new Christchurch stadium as set up for rugby games.

The arena’s roof could cost about $67.2m, of which about $43.3m would be for the clear plastic portion and $23.7 would be for the solid section of the roof at the southern end of the building.

Fitout may cost about $39.7m, made up of many smaller costs including the concourse, seating, amenities, kitchen and food space, and player facilities.

Cladding costs could be about $22m, while the turf could cost about $5.2m and lighting about $3m.

About $64m would be for construction trade costs, including some contingencies, while $31.2m would go towards professional fees.

About $37.2m would be set aside as a general contingency fund. The breakdown prices exclude GST.

The investment case for the stadium assumed the average annual schedule would include:

  • Six or seven Super Rugby level ruby games averaging 15,000 spectators.
  • Four to five domestic rugby games averaging 7000 spectators.
  • One All Blacks game with 25,000-30,000 spectators.
  • A rugby league game bringing in 18,000 people.
  • One soccer game bringing in 15,000 spectators.
  • Three large concerts averaging 28,000 people.
  • Three small concerts averaging 10,000 people.
  • Three large scale exhibitions averaging 12,000 people.
  • One other event bringing in 10,000 spectators.

There would also be one other “mega event” drawing about 30,000 people every five to six years.


The PM said stadiums were more than just pieces of infrastructure as she confirmed funding for a new multi-use arena in Christchurch.

Authorities are thinking about changing planning laws to limit concerts to a maximum of 15 annually and bring in a 11pm curfew to manage noise.

It is expected the facility would cost $104.9m to run over 30 years, of which $92.7m would be funded by stadium income, with an annual $4.2m council top-up.

The project was being jointly funded by the Crown and the city council, and the build would be managed by a council-owned company led by experienced director Murray Strong.

Other directors of the company include investor Richard Peebles, who is behind some of Christchurch’s most successful ventures such as Riverside Market, and professional director Stephen Reindler, who is on the board of several large companies including Z Energy.

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