Horncastle Arena (formerly CBS Canterbury Arena) is Christchurch's major indoor arena and opened in September 1998. The impressive multi-purpose arena hosts concerts, exhibitions and a wide range of sporting events such as basketball and netball. Provision for international sport and traditional indoor arena events has been integrated into the design requirements.
Designed along the same lines as some of Europe's finest arenas, Horncastle Arena has over 7,200 seats for centre court spectator events such as Davis Cup Tennis, Silver Fern Netball and Scenic Circle Rams Basketball.
In the concert configuration, which has on-floor general admission accommodation, the seating increases to over 8,888, all in New Zealand's first purpose built and largest indoor arena for sport and entertainment.
The $32 million Sports and Entertainment complex is located adjacent to Addington Raceway in Southwest Christchurch surrounded by 3000 carparks (cost $3 per vehicle) for entertainment events, and on some occasions no charge is made for carparking. The complex is only 10 minutes from the central business district.
Audience Systems Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of telescopic and fixed seating in Europe, were faced with the challenge of providing the largest indoor public assembly building in New Zealand with a cost effective, versatile seating system which would combine practicality with aesthetic appeal, whilst ensuring optimum comfort.
In August 1998 over 7,000 seats were installed in the arena, combining state of the art Espace 618 chairs on telescopic units with fixed and upholstered seating on the upper level. The retractable seating units were approved to New Zealand Seismic codes endorsing the product's reputation for safety and strength.
The fixed seating capacity is 8,888 comprised of a mix of 17 rows of retractable telescopic seating (3,704) and 10 rows of riser mounted gallery seats (2,225). When extended the retractable seats can provide access from an elevated aisle to the arena floor which has capacity for 2,960 loose floor seats. The fixed seats are contoured full back and armrest theatre seats.
Horncastle is the current naming-rights holder with the venue previously known as WestpacTrust Centre, Westpac Arena and most recently CBS Canterbury Arena.