The opening took place on October 15, 1881 on the occasion of an athletics event. Until 1889 there were also horse races. In 1957, the earth dam was enlarged, which allowed a capacity increase to 33,000 spectators. After the construction of two additional stands in 1965, 38,500 spectators could be accommodated. In 2000, the stadium was rebuilt, the earth dam and a standing grandstand gave way to two new seating grandstands. In view of the 2011 Rugby Union World Cup capacity should be increased to 43,000 spectators. On January 20, 2011, the capacity-augmented stage was opened by New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key.
Just over a month later by the Christchurch earthquake February 22, 2011 to be badly damaged. The two grandstands have dropped by up to 40 cm. Another grandstand suffered such severe damage that a demolition was recommended. The organizing committee of the 2011 Rugby Union World Cup announced in a row on March 16 that there are no games taking place in Christchurch, the country's second largest city. Originally there were five preliminary round games and two quarter-finals. On March 24, 2012 was the opening of a new stadium of the same name in the district of Addington with a capacity of 14,700 spectators, the new home of the super rugby team of the Crusaders is.