AMI Stadium Hero

Hawkins builds Christchurch Temporary Stadium (now AMI Stadium) super-fast!

Following two devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, the New Zealand Government decided to build a temporary stadium while the long-term future of the badly-damaged main AMI Stadium was determined. Leading a workforce of over 400 to build a 18,000 seat stadium in 11 weeks and the pressure of an immovable deadline of a Crusaders’ home game, was the challenge we faced following our appointment as main contractor for the project.

Christchurch Stadium Trust’s aim:

  • To build a cost effective, temporary stadium, as quickly as possible, to the highest possible safety standards, with great atmosphere and sightlines, and make it feel as though it was not yet another temporary solution.

What we did:

The pressure of tight time frames meant a less traditional approach to the project. For example, it was vital that we were able to procure all the necessary materials immediately so we needed to be ’in front of the queue’ with suppliers and obtain a quick response to all requests.

Because of the urgent nature of the project, we adopted day and night rosters with the night workers focusing on tasks that needed to be completed before the next day’s tasks could be accomplished – the erection of the structural steel framework, electrical work and concrete pours. The laying of the underground hydraulic services was a seven-day-a-week task for the crew of drain layers.

In one of the largest single concrete pours ever in Christchurch, 130 trucks delivered concrete for the platforms underneath the North and South Stands and players facilities overnight on 2nd February 2012.

Recycling of materials was critical to the project. The lighting towers came from Carisbrook in Dunedin, the turf was recycled from AMI Stadium and some food and beverage portacoms and seating used during the Rugby World Cup at Eden Park, Auckland were sent down.

Unique challenges:

  • Building a stadium in an extremely tight timeframe posed its own challenges. We worked closely with suppliers, subcontractors and other members of the project team to ensure materials were delivered when we needed them and worked around the clock to complete construction in the shortest possible timeframe.  

The outcome:

Construction was completed in less than 80 days. The new facility is flexible enough to be used not just for rugby, but for all sporting events, as well as a concert venue with potential to increase its capacity to 25,000 for a major event.

The project was more than the delivery of a temporary stadium – the new facility stands as evidence that Christchurch is recovering and that, with the leadership of Hawkins, the construction workforce is ready to rebuild.

I take my hat off to those who designed the stadium in under six months, and built it in less than 100 days, delivering a cost effective facility to the highest possible safety standards with great atmosphere.

Gerry Brownlee

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister