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Ōtautahi – Architects and designers for the big new Christchurch earthquake-replacement sports stadium have put up the first designs for the new arena to be built in the centre of the city.

Preliminary design images for the Canterbury multi-use arena are giving Otautahi people a glimpse into what the future holds for central Christchurch.

Crafted by Christchurch-based architects Warren & Mahoney and international stadium design experts Populous, the images provide an external view of how the arena will sit on the site and a more detailed internal illustration from the stands during a sporting event.

The preliminary designs, developed by the Kōtui consortium, provide the most accurate picture yet of what the facility will look like once completed.

The stadium will occupy much of the central Christchurch site bordered by Hereford, Barbadoes, Tuam and Madras streets.  At 232 metres long, 195 metres wide and 36 metres high at its tallest point, the arena will have a seating capacity of 30,000 for sporting events and up to 37,800 for a concert.

The architects say they are well on the way towards delivering Christchurch a world-class covered arena with high-quality acoustics that is capable of hosting top international music concerts as well as major international sporting fixtures.

The designs have developed significantly from the 2019 concepts to reflect the seismic requirements and to improve the health of the turf, the fan experience, the multi-use functionality, and to maximise the sunlight and minimise the noise impacts for neighbouring properties.

Because the roof needs to be a 175 metre by 210 metre single span across the field, the architects have opted for an oculus-style roof to increase its strength. The dome shape provides extra rigidity for the roof diaphragm.

Christchurch city councillors will meet to approve the complete preliminary design package in January, with the developed design scheduled to be completed by April. The council will then decide whether to approve the contract in the middle of 2022.  Expectations are that the arena will be built by no later than June 2025.

The assurance management plan outlines the plans and processes in place at five levels from the project delivery team through to government, because of earthquake damage to the old Lancaster Park 11 years ago. This ensures the project is able to identify and respond to risks quickly and effectively.