Rugby: Crusaders to be built new home stadium

Christchurch's regeneration is marking another major milestone, as the Government has approved $220 million for a new multi-use arena. 

Canterbury hasn't been able to host major sporting events for nine years, after the 2011 earthquake destroyed Lancaster Park. 

Since the, the Crusaders rugby team's home ground has been pop-up arena, Orangetheory Stadium.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge says the team is excited to get a new home in the indoor multi-purpose arena.

"In our club now, we've got nobody who has played in anything other than a temporary stadium, if we call Orangetheory temporary, so we're really excited to get a permanent stadium underway."

The new arena is expected to cost $473 million, with $220 million coming from the Government and $253 million from the council.

Concept design stills show the building comes with a roof and seating for 25,000 fans. 

The venue will have a capacity of 36,000 for concerts and would be built just two blocks from Cathedral Square. 

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods says the stadium would be a great addition to the city.

"These are the last bits of the puzzle about getting Christchurch back on track and return to normality.

"I think most Cantabrians want to have a stadium and an arena to call home, and an important one."

The first task is to dig up any old underground pipes and cables in construction, which will begin next year, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says. 

"We can expect to see action. I just can't give you an exact date, but there will be spades in the ground."

Leann Watson from the Chamber of Commerce says the arena will also help boost the local economy.

"We're talking multi-millions of dollars that will add to this local community." 

Residents are also excited, saying Christchurch has missed having a big stadium.

The arena is expected to be finished by 2024.