Businesses, sports clubs and residents will be able to put forward ideas to shape plans for a new Christchurch stadium.
Minister of Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel made the announcement after the first of a series of workshops this morning.
The council has set aside $474 million for the project, including $220 million from a government fund.
Dr Woods said a full investment case would be developed to ensure the project was well designed and stacked up financially.
The workshops would provide clarity about the needs and wants of the various sectors.
"That's why we are bringing the sporting codes, local businesses and the entertainment sector together to help us make sure the design is right and the building is fit for purpose," she said.
"We will be holding a series of workshops with each of these sectors to hear what they need from the arena and how it can be made to work best for them."
She said the project would be a huge boost for the city, with construction to get under way in 2021.
The site for the new stadium will be tested in November to ensure it's suitable to build on.
Contractors will be checking for chemicals, analysing the ground and preparing the central site at the end of next month.
Dr Woods said the site used to belong to Turners and Growers and it was possible chemicals could have been used on it in the past.
She said they would be looking for contamination in the ground and carrying out geotechnical assessments.