Populous on team to design new Canterbury Multi-Use Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand

April 13, 2021

Christchurch is set to become the entertainment destination of New Zealand with the announcement of the new Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) project consortium.

Populous is proud to join fellow Australian construction company BESIX Watpac, local Christchurch businesses Southbase Construction and Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers, New Zealand based infrastructure company Fulton Hogan and international companies Warren and Mahoney Architects, and design consultancy Mott MacDonald, to form the Kōtui consortium for the design and construction of CMUA.

The New Zealand Government and Christchurch City Council have approved the $473 million state-of-the-art multi-functional arena facility to be built in the centre of the city of Christchurch. The project aims to become a landmark destination for both national and large-scale international events, to entertain locals and increase the Canterbury region’s tourism.

Plans for Canterbury Multi-Use Arena include a minimum seating capacity of 25,000 with potential to expand capacity for special events. The arena will be roofed so that events can be held year-round no matter the weather.

“We have designed stunning multi-use arenas around the world, but for Populous the CMUA presents and exciting opportunity to work with our New Zealand partners to deliver something special. Kōtui will deliver that.”

Chris Paterson / Populous Director and Senior Principal

From rugby to international concert performances, a wide range of sports and entertainment can be hosted at the multipurpose, adaptable venue. The arena aims to host a scalable capacity layout in order to also accommodate smaller events, shows and concerts for the local community.

As a proud member of the Kōtui team, Populous’ design team will work hard to ensure the new arena encapsulates the spirit and resilience of Christchurch, providing a world-class multi-purpose venue that will attract major sporting and entertainment events to the city.

Construction of the project is expected to begin in early 2022 with a goal of the CMUA opening at the end of 2024. The completion of Canterbury Multi-Use Arena will revive Christchurch as an international destination for world-class sporting, entertainment and cultural events for locals and tourists alike.


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