Loftus Versfeld Stadium

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"Loftus Versfeld" redirects here. For the rugby player and administrator, see Robert Loftus Owen Versfeld.
Loftus Versfeld
Loftus Versfeld Stadium.jpg
Former names Minolta Loftus, Securicor Loftus
Location 440 Kirkness Street, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Coordinates 25°45′12″S 28°13′22″E / 25.75333°S 28.22278°E / -25.75333; 28.22278Coordinates: 25°45′12″S 28°13′22″E / 25.75333°S 28.22278°E / -25.75333; 28.22278
Built 1906
Opened 1923
Renovated 1977
Expanded 2008
Owner Blue Bulls Rugby Union
Surface Grass
Capacity 51,762
Tenants
Blue Bulls (Currie Cup)
Bulls (Super Rugby)
Mamelodi Sundowns (PSL)

Loftus Versfeld Stadium is a rugby and association football stadium situated in the Arcadia suburb of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa. The stadium has a capacity of 51,762 for rugby union. It is occasionally used for local football matches as well.

Owned by the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, the stadium is the home ground Bulls franchise of the Super Rugby and the Blue Bulls union in South Africa's Currie Cup. It also hosted the 2009 Super 14 Final and the 2009 Currie Cup final.

Also, the South Africa national rugby union team has played several test matches at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. They played New Zealand in 1970, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2006, Australia in 1967, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2012, England in 1994, 2000 and 2007, and Ireland in 1998.

In June 2010, the stadium hosted opening round games and one game of the round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

History[edit]

The stadium was named after Robert Loftus Owen Versfeld, the founder of organized sports in Pretoria. Through the years the stadium has undergone various name changes as sponsors came and went, though locals have always referred to the stadium as Loftus Versfeld. From 11 June 1998 to 4 February 2003 the stadium was officially named Minolta Loftus after Minolta became the stadium's name sponsor. Sponsorship was taken over by security giant Securicor, who announced the name Securicor Loftus on 5 February 2003. On 1 September 2005 the renaming process went full circle when cellular provider Vodacom, taking over sponsorship from Securicor, renamed the stadium back to the original Loftus Versfeld.

The site of the stadium was first used for sports in 1906, and the field was simply called the Eastern Sports Ground. The first concrete structure was erected there by the City Council in 1923. The original structure could only accommodate 2000 spectators, and did not have proper sports facilities.

In 1928, mostly because of the All Blacks tour to South Africa that year, the Pretoria sub-union made a large profit which they used to erect changing rooms and toilets.

When Mr Loftus Versfeld died suddenly in May 1932 the Pretoria sub-union renamed the Eastern Sports Ground after him as a tribute to a man that had done so much to develop sport in the area. The stadium has been known as Loftus Versfeld Stadium ever since. It has been upgraded on several occasions, most recently in 1984, when the Northern Pavilion received an upgrade.

Facilities[edit]

Events[edit]

1995 Rugby World Cup[edit]

Loftus hosted some matches during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Date Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
26 May 1995  France 38–10  Tonga Pool D 25,000
30 May 1995  Scotland 41–5  Tonga Pool D 21,000
3 June 1995  France 22–19  Scotland Pool D 40,000
11 June 1995  New Zealand 48–30  Scotland Quarter Final 20,000
22 June 1995  France 19–9  England Third-place play-off 45,000

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

Loftus Versfeld was one of the venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.[1] It hosted the Group B matches USA vs. Italy, USA vs. Brazil and Brazil vs. Italy.[2]

Date Time (UTC+2) Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
15 June 2009 20:30 United States USA 1–3 Italy Italy Group B 34,341
18 June 2009 16:00 United States USA 0–3 Brazil Brazil Group B 39,617
21 June 2009 20:30 Italy Italy 0–3 Brazil Brazil Group B 41,195

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Minimal upgrading was undertaken in order for Loftus Versfeld to qualify as a venue for first and second round matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[3][4] The floodlights, sound system, scoreboards and stadium roof were improved, as roads and parking facilities around it.[3][5] While expected to be finished in August 2008,[3] renovation was completed in January 2009.[6]

Date Time (UTC+2) Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
13 June 2010 16:00 Serbia Serbia 0–1 Ghana Ghana Group D 38,833
16 June 2010 20:30 South Africa South Africa 0–3 Uruguay Uruguay Group A 42,658
19 June 2010 20:30 Cameroon Cameroon 1–2 Denmark Denmark Group E 38,074
23 June 2010 16:00 United States USA 1–0 Algeria Algeria Group C 35,827
25 June 2010 20:30 Chile Chile 1–2 Spain Spain Group H 41,958
29 June 2010 16:00 Paraguay Paraguay 0–0 (5–3 on penalties) Japan Japan Round of 16 36,742

Concerts[edit]

The stadium has hosted many musical events including concerts by UB40 and Robbie Williams' Close Encounters Tour on 17 April 2006 with an attendance of over 56,000. Canadian superstar Celine Dion also performed as part of her Taking Chances Tour a two-night stand at the stadium on 16 and 17 February 2008 with a total attendance of about 80,000.

Boxing[edit]

On 20 October 1979, South African Heavyweight boxer Gerrie Coetzee challenged the unbeaten American Heavyweight John Tate for the vacant WBA World Heavyweight title in front of a crowd of 80,000 people. Despite massive support within the stadium Coetzee lost on points to the American.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 - Tshwane/Pretoria". FIFA. Retrieved 18 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 - Matches". FIFA. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Sylvester Haskins (20 June 2008). "Five new stadiums on track for 2010". Engineering News. Creamer Media. Retrieved 21 June 2008. 
  4. ^ "How host cities are shaping up: Pretoria". Times LIVE (AVUSA). 23 November 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ Lebogang Seale (12 February 2008). "2010 soccer stadiums under Fifa spotlight". IOL Sport (Independent Newspapers). Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pretoria Stadium not yet ready". BBC Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 

External links[edit]