Harman Patil (Editor)

Lancaster Park

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Victoria Park Trust

Field size
Cricket Oval



VBase Venue management


15 October 1881

Lancaster Park

Former names
Lancaster Park (1881–1998) Jade Stadium (1998–2007)

Christchurch, New Zealand

30 Steves Street, Phillipstown, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Rugby League Park, Eden Park, Carisbrook, Waikato Stadium, Wellington Regional Stadium

Lancaster park jade ami stadium from the air

Lancaster Park, renamed Jade Stadium and now known as AMI Stadium is a sports stadium in Waltham, a suburb of Christchurch in New Zealand. The stadium is currently closed due to damage sustained in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The Hadlee Stand has been demolished and the fate of the rest of the stadium is unresolved.


The stadium has been the venue for various sports including rugby union, cricket, rugby league, association football, athletics and trotting. It has also hosted various non-sporting events including concerts by Pearl Jam in 2009, Bon Jovi in 2008, Roger Waters in 2007, Meat Loaf in 2004, U2 in 1989 & 1993, Tina Turner in 1993 and 1997, Dire Straits in 1986 and 1991, and Billy Joel in 1987. However the stadium is primarily a rugby and cricket ground and is the home of the Crusaders rugby union team, who compete in Super Rugby. Its capacity is 38,628.

Quake damaged lancaster park set to face the wrecking ball


In 1880 Canterbury Cricket and Athletics Sports Co. Ltd was established. In 1882, Edward Stevens and Arthur Ollivier initiated the purchase of a parcel of swampy farmland (the actual cricket ground was in low-lying area and basically sitting on a large pool of saturated water) which became Lancaster Park, and Lancaster was the name of the farmer and previous landlord. For Stevens, this was a transaction through his company, Harman and Stevens, on behalf of the owner, Benjamin Lancaster. Canterbury Cricket and Athletics Sports purchased 10 acres 3 rods 30 perches (4.426 hectares) for £2,841 at £260 per acre (NZ$ 1284.95/hectare). In 1904 Canterbury cricket would become the sole owner of the ground. Then in 1911 the Canterbury Rugby Union became co-owners with the Canterbury Cricket Association over the ground. An Act of Parliament in November 1919 vested title to Lancaster Park in the Crown, and established the Victory Park Board to take responsibility for its management.

JADE Stadium Limited was established in December 1998 to manage the existing facilities on behalf of the Victory Park Board and the Christchurch City Council. A five-member board of directors, drawn from Christchurch's business community and the Christchurch City Council, governs the company.

Official opening

In 1881 the first cricket match to be played on the ground was scheduled for the opening on 8 October, but it was cancelled because of rain. An athletics meeting became the first event held on the ground, on 15 October.

Financial difficulty

In 1912 a "Floral Fete", a festival, was held to raise funds to clear the debt of £2,000 in order to prevent the ground being cut up into building sites.

The financial difficulty the ground faced was so great that during New Zealand's involvement in World War I in 1915 the main oval at Lancaster Park was ploughed up and was used as a potato field in an attempt to raise more revenue.


The embankment was expanded in 1957, increasing the capacity to 33,000. Two new stands were opened in 1965 further increasing the capacity to 38,500. In 1995 the Hadlee Stand opened in tribute to the successful cricketing family which came from Canterbury. The Hadlee stand is the first stand to be demolished due to earthquake damage. In 2000 saw the demolition of the embankment and No. 4 stand and the opening of the DB Draught stand (renamed the Tui stand in 2006) and the Paul Kelly Motor Company Stand (West Stand). Both stands sustained severe slump damage during the earthquake in 2011. Although deemed repairable it is unlikely they will be as the cost would be too expensive.

As part of a $60 million redevelopment for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Eastern Stands (No. 1, 2 and 3 stands) were demolished and replaced with the new Deans Stand. The Stand was designed to reflect the newly completed Western Stand. The total capacity was 38,500 and was to be raised to nearly 45,000 with temporary seating for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, in what would have made it the second largest stadium in New Zealand after Eden Park.

Deans Stand

On Tuesday, 22 April 2008 a press release was issued announcing that the new East Stand, built to replace stands demolished in 2007, as part of a redevelopment of the Ground, was to be named the Deans Stand when it was officially opened in January 2010. The Deans Stand has a seating capacity of 13,000. The stand was severely damaged in the earthquake when the piles it stood on were violently forced up and then down in a wave motion. It is slated for demolition.

The Deans name has been a part of rugby at the stadium for more than a century. Bob Deans was an All Black and also captained the Canterbury rugby team, Bruce and Robbie Deans were both All Blacks and members of the Canterbury team with Robbie also coaching the Crusaders, Bob's brother Colin played rugby at the ground, Bruce & Robbie's father Tony played cricket on the ground, and in the sixth generation of the family Milly Deans is a member of the Canterbury women's rugby team. The name Deans is also the family name of the first successful settlers in the city with brothers John and William Deans building their house in 1843.

Earthquake damage

The stadium is closed indefinitely because of the severe damage sustained during the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The first of its stands, the "Hadlee Stand", has been demolished. Seven 2011 Rugby World Cup matches scheduled for the stadium in September were moved to other venues. Demolition of the rest of the stadium is being discussed. There is a rebuilding proposal to move the ground to within Christchurch's Four Avenues inner city boundary. In the meantime, games would be played in the site of Rugby League Park.


Formerly known as Lancaster Park, the stadium was renamed Jade Stadium in 1998, after the naming rights were sold to Jade Software Corporation Limited. In 2007, the naming rights were sold to AMI Insurance Limited and the stadium was renamed AMI Stadium. The park on which the stadium stands is still called Lancaster Park and as such, the formal name for the venue is AMI Stadium at Lancaster Park.

Davis Cup

The 1911 Davis Cup was played at Lancaster Park, where Australasia as the defending champion was challenged by the United States. Rain delayed the beginning of the games scheduled for 29 December 1911, and the 1911 Davis Cup event was held between 1 and 3 January 1912. Australian Norman Brookes beat Beals Wright in the opening match. Rodney Heath increased the lead for Australasia by beating William Larned. Australasia retained the Davis Cup through a win in the doubles, with Brookes and Alf Dunlop being successful over Wright and Maurice E. McLoughlin. The fourth match was defaulted by Wright, and Larned stepped aside to give the younger McLoughlin the opportunity to play Brookes. After leading 2 sets to 1, Brookes came back and won the match, and gave Australasia a clean 5–0 victory.

2011 Rugby World Cup

The Stadium was scheduled to host five pool matches and two quarter finals at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and would be referred to as Stadium Christchurch owing to the IRB's advertising rules at venues for the Rugby World Cup.

Owing to damage suffered from the earthquake that hit Christchurch and surrounding areas on the 22 February 2011, Christchurch lost its rights to host the seven world cup games as the city was too damaged to host.

Super Rugby

AMI Stadium was home to the Crusaders Super Rugby franchise. They have hosted four Super 12/Super 14 finals in 2002, 2005, 2006 and in 2008. Due to damage AMI Stadium sustained in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the Crusaders moved to Rugby League Park in Addington, renamed Christchurch AMI STADIUM to be used as their home ground for the foreseable future. The ground has been rebuilt to 18,600pax. Despite AMI claiming massive expenses, they still were able to buy naming rights to Crusaders temporary stadium. It has been known as AMI Stadium ever since the Crusaders started playing there.


The stadium was home to the Canterbury team in the ITM Cup (formerly the National Provincial Championship, or NPC and Air New Zealand Cup), who have been very successful in this competition, winning the SIX most recent competitions (2008–2013). The team moved to Rugby Park for the 2011 season but is expected to join their fellow Crusaders franchise at the new AMI STADIUM, the former League ground in Addington for the 2012 season.

Ranfurly Shield

Canterbury have a proud Ranfurly Shield history. One of their most memorable moments was when they successfully retained the Ranfurly Shield against Waikato in 1954 with a last minute try. The conversion was never taken as the crowd rushed the field before the game could be completed.


Cricket has long been played at Lancaster Park. It was the oldest test venue before it was demolished, and was taken over by Basin Reserve. It was the first game to be played in this stadium and in fact, Lancaster Park was originally a cricket stadium. Day/night cricket was made possible after the lighting towers were added in 1996—the first in a major New Zealand stadium. These were first put to use in 1997 when New Zealand played England in front of a crowd of 25,000. It was the ground where Richard Hadlee picked up the most 5-wicket hauls in New Zealand, his second century (151* against Sri Lanka) and his 400 test wicket. In its final test match held in 2006, Nathan Astle scored 222 against England in a losing effort, and Brendan McCullum scored the fastest Twenty20 century against Australia, and also a fundraiser for Boxing Day Tsunami against World XI in 2005.

Because of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, and the liquefaction of the ground, One Day Internationals couldn't be played in the city until the upgrade of the Hagley Oval in perparation for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup as this was the only ground that had the capacity to host them. First-class matches have been moved to Rangiora Recreation Ground and Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Rugby league

Lancaster Park has hosted matches for a number of clubs from the Australasian National Rugby League competition. The Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters, who are both based in Sydney, have hosted matches at the ground. The 2011 ANZAC rugby league Test match was originally scheduled to be played at the stadium but was moved to the Robina Stadium on Australia's Gold Coast because of the damages from the 2011 Canterbury earthquake.

Rugby league test matches

Lancaster Park has hosted three New Zealand rugby league internationals since 1920.


Lancaster Park hosted an Hyundai A-League match between Wellington Phoenix FC and Adelaide United on 30 January 2010. The match attracted 19,276 which was, at the time, a record home league attendance for the Wellington team, prompting suggestions Christchurch may be able to sustain an A-League team of its own.

In the next A-League season the stadium was used again, for the same opponents encounter on 5 December 2010. A 14,108 crowd was the season-best record for Phoenix.


Lancaster Park has hosted a number of concerts including U2 (1989 & 1993), Tina Turner (1993 & 1997), Dire Straits (1986 & 1991), Billy Joel (1987), Meat Loaf (2004), Roger Waters (2007), Bon Jovi (2008) and Pearl Jam (2009).

Religious events

In 1954 Lancaster Park held a Roman Catholic prayer rally. This drew a large attendance. Pope John Paul II also held a public mass on the oval in 1986, attracting 28,000 people.


Lancaster Park Wikipedia