Repairing the iconic Lancaster Park could cost up to $275 million so it will be demolished.

The city council decided last week to approve the demolition of the famous rugby and cricket stadium, which will start in December and take about a year to complete.

Due to commercial reasons, the decision was made behind closed doors.

No decisions have been made on the process for determining the future use once the demolition is completed.


A report on process options is expected to be brought before the city council in April.

The city council received a report late last year from quantity surveying firm, Rawlinsons saying it would cost around $252 million and $275 million to rebuild the stadium as a venue capable to holding top international rugby tests.

It estimated repairing the damaged foundations alone would cost between $39 million and $49 million.

The company was commissioned by the city council to conduct an independent review of all the investigative work done at Lancaster Park by the city council, its advisers, and its insurers to gauge the extent of the earthquake damage to the stadium.

The Hadlee Stand has already been demolished because it was considered unsafe.

The remaining stands all have widespread, severe damage.

The city council and its venue management company, Vbase, which owns the stadium, will manage the deconstruction.

The Lancaster Park war memorial gates, built to commemorate the Canterbury athletes who served in World War I, are to be protected and preserved during the deconstruction.

"Managing the project ourselves, along with Vbase, allows us to maximise the opportunities for recycling materials and is the most cost-effective of the three options we looked at," city council project director Lee Butcher said.

"Having direct control of the deconstruction also means we can ensure the local community is engaged in the process and kept informed along the way."

Vbase General Manager Darren Burden said the Council's decision to deconstruct Lancaster Park Stadium was supported by Vbase's board.

"We're pleased to now have a clear path forward," Burden said.

While Vbase would fund the capital cost of the deconstruction.

As the city council and Vbase will be going out to the market seeking tenders from companies keen to be involved in the deconstruction, the estimated cost of the work will not be released at this stage.

The epicentre of the February 2011 earthquake was located only about 6km south-east of Lancaster Park and caused significant damage to the stadium.

The ground has seen many notable sporting achievement and arguably the greatest moment in New Zealand test cricket history when Sir Richard Hadlee become the first bowler ever to take 400 test wickets when he dismissed Indian middle order batsman Sanjay Manjrekar in the 1989/90 season.

- Christchurch Star