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Construction of new Christchurch multi-use arena set to start next year

Construction of new Christchurch multi-use arena set to start next year
July 22, 2020

Christchurch City Council is moving forward with preparation work for the new Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, announcing that construction is ready to start early next year.

Ahead of the construction work on the $473 million project, staff, contractors and utilities providers are making progress and meeting required timeframes to prepare the central city site for that will be Christchurch’s final post-earthquake ‘anchor’ project.

Advising that this work shows the city’s commitment to the venue as a key events destination, Christchurch acting Mayor Andrew Turner today advised “the project teams are moving forward in earnest and are ensuring early development and planning milestones are met.

“Before early works begin a significant amount of work needs to happen behind the scenes, and it is excellent to see that work continuing at pace, on time and within budget.”

The on-site contamination investigation has been completed and laboratory results are due shortly. This will inform how much work will be required to remove any asbestos, fuel and coal tar from the site and enable a tender to be developed.

The Council has begun planning and relocating underground services such as water, power and communications cables across the three-block site while fibre cable hauling is already under way.

The redesign of the three waters systems in the area is progressing, with data being collated and 3D modelling being undertaken. Conflicting water mains and stormwater pipes will be relocated as new precast chambers are installed on Cashel and Lichfield Streets.

Council staff are working on an integrated transport assessment. The assessment will investigate how the scheduled work and finished arena will affect pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private motor vehicles, and ensure any negative effects are addressed.

The New Zealand Government has also granted an early release of $6 million for early enabling works for the Multi-Use Arena from the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility (CRAF).

With the venue scheduled to open by the end of 2024, the operators of the city’s Orangetheory Stadium are hoping that world football governing body FIFA will cover the upgrades needed for the venue to host Women's World Cup matches in 2023.

The venue, owned and operated by the Christchurch Stadium Trust, is one of 13 being considered to host games when the tournament comes to Australasia in July and August 2023.

Trust Chief Executive Tim Shannahan has confirmed the upgrades needed were included in the expected $3.4 million of costs outlined to FIFA in Australasia’s bid to host the event.

Shannahan said the major work needed would include lighting upgrades along with a temporary 5000-seat stand and related services at the western end of the ground to bring capacity up to the 22,000 seats required for tournament venues.

Economic development and tourism agency ChristchurchNZ estimates the region will generate $23 million in economic benefits if it hosts Women's World Cup matches.

Images: Artist's impression of Christchurch's new multi-use arena. Courtesy of Christchurch City Council.

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