Sport & recreation  |  15 Oct 2019

The final whistle has blown at Lancaster Park today with the demolition of the last building frame – exactly 138 years since the opening of the sportsground.

Christchurch City Council Project Director Lee Butcher says that the “last concrete frame of the former Paul Kelly Stand has been brought down”.

“However, the most poignant fact is that Lancaster Park actually opened on this day in 1881,” Mr Butcher says.

“It is certainly a significant day for the city and marks the final step in a complex deconstruction process,” he says.

“We have also demolished the remaining sections of the Deans Stand earlier today.

“Two high-reach machines and a 50-tonne digger have been used to take down the final frames.”

Work on the original four-tier West Stand (Paul Kelly Stand) finished in 2002 while the Deans Stand opened in 2010.

The removal of the last section of the earthquake-damaged stadium signals the end for one of the most recognised skyline structures in the city.

Mr Butcher says the frames are the main structural elements of the stands.

“It has been too difficult to demolish the frames while in position, so they have been brought down to the ground to be broken up, and the steel extracted,” he says.

“By reducing the weight of each section of the stand and ensuring the structure is as light as possible, we have been able to minimise any potential issues.

“So far, we have managed to salvage more than 3500 tonnes of steel while more than 30,000 tonnes of concrete has been removed for use in land remediation.”

A spatial plan for the future redevelopment of Lancaster Park includes multi-code sports fields and public open space that honour the sporting and community history of the area.