Great Britain kick off their Gillette Tri-Nations campaign on Saturday morning against New Zealand in the surroundings of the Jade Stadium in Christchurch.
Jade Stadium is formerly known as Lancaster Park. It has hosted various sports: rugby union, rugby league, field hockey, cricket, soccer, athletics, trotting until in 1899 this club moved to Addington Racecourse, swimming and as a function centre has hosted non-sporting events such as concerts by U2 in 1989 and, Billy Joel in 1987.
It is however primarily a Rugby and Cricket ground. Its current capacity is 36,500. It is the home of the Crusaders rugby union team who compete in the Super 14.
1998 saw Jade Stadium become the new name of Lancaster Park after naming rights sold to the Jade Software Corporation Limited.
The embankment was expanded in 1957, increasing the capacity to 33,000. Two new stands were opened in 1965 further increasing the capacity to 38,500. In 1995 the Hadlee Stand opened in tribute to the successful cricketing family which came from Canterbury. 2000 saw the destruction of the embankment and No. 4 stand and the opening of the DB Draught stand (renamed the Tui stand in 2006) and the Paul Kelly Motor Company Stand (West Stand).
Before the 2011 RugbyUnion World Cup the Eastern Stands (No. 1, 2 and 3 stands) will be demolished and replaced with a new stand in the same design of the newly completed Western Stand. The total capacity is expected to be raised to 55,000, making it the second largest stadium in New Zealand after Eden Park which is planned to hold 60,000 after similar upgrades.
Jade Stadium has served over years as a 'home away from home' stadium for teams the Australian NRL competition such as the Wests Tigers, as despite the name of the team New Zealand Warriors insinuating Jade Stadium is part of their franchise base, this team is based at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.