Whether you consider it a sign of our health-conscious times or a cruel twist of fate, Christchurch’s biggest brewery site is about to be transformed into the Metro Sports Facility.

Construction of what will be the largest sport and recreation facility of its kind in New Zealand starts this month.

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For the likes of Canterbury Basketball Association, the facility’s completion at the end of 2021 cannot come soon enough. Its weekend club competition has grown over 30 per cent in the past two years and this season two new clubs plus an additional 20 teams will be on the court. Access to nine indoor courts at the Metro Sports Facility will help the game grow at every level.

The driving philosophy behind the jointly funded Crown and Christchurch City Council project is to give everyone the opportunity to get active.

The Metro Sports Facility will offer something for all. Whether that be the learn-to-swim pool, five hydroslides, 50-metre competition pool, dive well, Aquatic Sensory Experience, show court with 2,500 grandstand seats, or the fitness and high-performance training spaces.

With appeal this broad, the location had to be equally as accessible for people right across Christchurch, thus the brewery site was chosen.

Bookended by two major roads, Moorhouse Avenue and St Asaph Street, the facility is easy for motorists to get to and will include around 550 car parks. It also sits on a major cycle route and is one block away from the central city’s busiest bus stops, near the hospital.

The Metro Sports Facility’s significance on the national stage will also bring local and international competitions back to Christchurch resulting in economic benefits for the city.

Council expects it to host eight-to-twelve such events each year with competitors, coaches, family, and supporters from all around the country using our hotels and motels, restaurants, attractions, and shops.

For netball, basketball, futsal, swimming, diving and more it will mean there will be a home town advantage once again, after years of having to travel around New Zealand for representative tournaments.

With the Metro Sports Facility we may be trading that wafting smell of hops for a hint of chlorine, but it is also the smell of success.