A Proud History
Fraser Park’s grounds have been the sporting heart of Timaru and South Canterbury since boots first hit the turf in 1876.
Early South Cantabrians saw the same value in a multisport complex as we do today.
The South Canterbury Amateur Athletic Club purchased land on Otipua Road from George and Robert Rhodes in 1871. They fenced it, erected a stand and laid a cinder track. In 1876 it became the home of South Canterbury Football (Rugby) Club, which was established by Alfred St George Hamersley in 1875; cricket was played there in the 1880s and the Timaru Trotting Club introduced horse racing to the grounds and region in 1889. Most famously, the grounds hosted the touring New Zealand Native XV of 1888.
Rugby fever soon took over and the South Canterbury Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) named the grounds Fraser Park in 1926 after the Fraser family, who had invested two generations of work into the administration of rugby football in the province.
A 1984 fire destroyed Fraser Park’s 1926 wooden stand, and its replacement joined concrete additions of the 1960s.
The advent of professionalism and international television standards in the mid 1990s were a real jolt into the future. Fraser Park gave up its moniker to Alpine Energy Stadium in 1995 as the company financed necessary modernisations, such as flood lights, for this new professional age. On the evening of 28 March 1995, South Canterbury played South Africa’s Orange Free State under the lights for the first time.
Today, the grounds continue their proud tradition as the home of SCRFU, which punches above its weight. Our region has produced 25 All Blacks to date, including the recent selection of Cullen Grace, and 4 Black Ferns.
About Fraser Park Community Trust
Brent Isbister (chair) – Agribusiness owner, former Director of the Crusaders, Board member of the SCRFU and life member of the Pleasant Point Rugby Club.
Grant Norton – Property Developer. Current Chairperson of the SCRFU. Life member of the Geraldine Rugby Club.
Mark Evans - Chartered Accountant. Delegate from South Canterbury Aoraki Football Committee.
Mark Goodhew – Owns and operates dental practice. Former SCRFU Chairperson, and first class rugby referee representative
Tim Hyde-Smith - South Canterbury Rugby CEO
Fraser Park Community Trust is a registered charitable trust based at Alpine Energy Stadium, 328 Church Street Timaru. The Trust is overseeing the redevelopment of Alpine Energy Stadium into a multi-sport venue.
Phillipa Guerin - Project Redevelopment Manager
Gary Rooney - Lead contractor
John Wilson - Thompsons Design, Engineering and PreCast
Each steering group member has significant experience in delivering multi-million-dollar projects to the community, on time and within budget.
Fraser Park Community Trust has appointed 100 per cent locally owned company The Rooney Group Ltd as the project’s lead contractor. They are supported by Thompson Design, Engineering and Pre-Cast Ltd, one of South Canterbury’s largest design and construction companies.
We also owe a debt of gratitude to The Timaru District Council, Trust Aoraki, Pub Charity Ltd, The Southern Trust, The Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury Inc, NZCT, NZ Lotteries Community Facilities Fund, Lion Foundation and the South Canterbury community for their financial support to bring this project to life.