Wellington Regional Stadium

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Wellington Regional Stadium
Westpac Stadium
'The Cake Tin'
'The Ring of Fire'
Westpac Stadium viewed from Wadestown
Former names WestpacTrust Stadium
Location Wellington, New Zealand
Coordinates 41°16′23″S 174°47′9″E / 41.27306°S 174.78583°E / -41.27306; 174.78583Coordinates: 41°16′23″S 174°47′9″E / 41.27306°S 174.78583°E / -41.27306; 174.78583
Owner Wellington Regional Stadium Trust
Operator Wellington Regional Stadium Trust
Capacity 34,500 (Seating capacity)[1]
Field size Length (north–south) 235 metres
Width (west–east) 185 metres (stadium dimensions, not the playing surface)
Surface Grass
Broke ground 12 March 1998
Opened 3 January 2000
Construction cost NZ$130 million
Architect Warren and Mahoney
Populous (then Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture)
Project manager Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd
Main contractors Fletcher Construction Ltd
Hurricanes (Super Rugby) (2000–present)
Wellington Lions (ITM Cup) (2000–present)
Wellington Firebirds (NZC) (2000–present)
Wellington Phoenix (A-League) (2008–present)
University of Otago[2] (2013-2015)
New Zealand Institute of Sport
Westpac Stadium and CentrePort Wellington, 2015

Wellington Regional Stadium (known as Westpac Stadium through naming rights) is a major sporting venue in Wellington, New Zealand. The stadium's bowl site size is 48,000 sq m.

The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction[3] and is situated close to major transport facilities (such as Wellington Railway Station) one kilometre north of the CBD. It was built on reclaimed railway land, which was surplus to requirements.

It was built to replace Athletic Park, which was no longer considered adequate for international events due to its location and state of disrepair. The stadium was also built to provide a larger-capacity venue for One Day International cricket matches, due to the Basin Reserve ground losing such matches to larger stadia in other parts of the country.

The stadium also serves as a large-capacity venue for concerts.


The stadium is a multi-purpose facility, though used mainly for sporting events. It is the home of the Wellington Lions ITM Cup rugby team, and the primary home of the Super Rugby Hurricanes. The stadium also hosts the Wellington Sevens, one of the events in the annual IRB Sevens World Series for national rugby sevens teams. Westpac Stadium regularly serves as a home venue for All Blacks rugby matches.

Westpac Stadium is also the home venue for A-League football (soccer) team Wellington Phoenix FC, the stadium often referred to as "The Ring of Fire" by Phoenix supporters. It also serves as a major home venue for the New Zealand national football team (the All Whites), notably hosting the home leg of their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bahrain.

During the summer the stadium generally hosts international and occasionally domestic limited overs cricket, with the home team being the New Zealand Black Caps for the international contests and Wellington Firebirds for the domestic competition.

The stadium has also been used for rugby league matches, including national team fixtures and New Zealand Warriors away fixtures.

Off-field facilities built into the stadium also included the New Zealand Institute of Sport, and a campus for the Wellington School of Cricket, run by the Wellington Cricket Association.


In 2000, The Westpac Stadium hosted the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This was the first time the event was hosted outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.

In 2002 during an England versus Black Caps cricket match, director Peter Jackson recorded 30,000 fans chanting in Black Speech for the sound of 10,000 chanting Uruk-hai during the Battle of Helm's Deep in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

On 4 March 2006 WWE's first ever New Zealand show, WWE Smackdown Road to Wrestlemania 22 Tour was held at the stadium. 23,875 people were in attendance to witness 9 matches including a triple threat match between Kurt Angle, Undertaker and Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Also in 2006 a concert was held by The Rolling Stones which ended the Australasian leg of its A Bigger Bang World Tour,

On 14 October 2007, Australia defeated New Zealand in the Centenary Test rugby league game. The 58–0 defeat set a new record for the largest loss by the New Zealand national rugby league team.

On 1 December 2007, the stadium hosted an exhibition match between Wellington Phoenix FC and Los Angeles Galaxy. LA Galaxy won 4–1 in front of 31,853 spectators, the largest crowd for non-national football (soccer) match in New Zealand history.[4]

On 17 January 2008 the stadium hosted the first leg of The Police Reunion Tour [5] and over Easter the inaugural two-day "Rock2Wgtn" music festival, headlined by Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne. Attendance over the two days was around 50,000.[6]

New Zealand hosted the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup. Six pool matches and two playoff matches were played at the Westpac Stadium. Due to FIFA rules disallowing host stadia to be named after non-FIFA sponsors, the stadium was officially known as "Wellington Stadium" during the event.

The stadium hosted the national team's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match on 14 November 2009 against Bahrain. New Zealand won the match 1–0, with a record crowd of 35,194 for a football match in New Zealand.

On 28 January 2010 AC/DC kicked off the Australasian leg of its Black Ice World Tour at the stadium. The concert quickly sold out so a second was scheduled for 30 January.[7] The stadium was also a venue for Bon Jovi's The Circle Tour in 2010.

The stadium hosted eight games during the 2011 Rugby World Cup including two quarter-final matches.

On 11 May 2013 the stadium and Wellington hosted its first National Rugby League fixture since 2004 with the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors hosting the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at the stadium for 'The Capital Clash'.[8] The Warriors wore their 'Capital Clash' jerseys which incorporated the black and gold colours of Wellington and a design based off a strip worn by Wellington Rugby League teams in the 1970s. The Warriors lost the game late in the match in front of 28,096 fans.[9]

On 20 November 2013, the stadium hosted the second leg of the World Cup qualification inter-confederation play-off against Mexico, which resulted in New Zealand failing to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[10]

On 15 November 2014, the stadium hosted the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations Final. It was the first Four Nations Final held in New Zealand, though the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland hosted the inaugural final of the tournament, then known as the Tri-Nations, in 1999.[11]

Rugby League Test Matches[edit]

List of Test and World Cup matches played at Wellington Regional Stadium since its opening in 2000.[12]

Game# Date Result Attendance Notes
1 13 July 2001 Australia  def.  New Zealand 28–10 26,580
2 12 October 2002 Australia Australia def. New Zealand New Zealand 32–24 25,015
3 11 November 2006 New Zealand New Zealand def.  Great Britain 34–4 16,401 Played as part of the 2006 Tri-Nations
4 11 October 2007 Australia Australia def. New Zealand New Zealand 58–0 16,681
5 23 October 2010 New Zealand New Zealand def.  England 24–10 20,324 Played as part of the 2010 Four Nations
6 12 November 2014 New Zealand New Zealand def. Australia Australia 22–18 25,093 Played as part of the 2014 Four Nations Final


Panorama of Westpac Stadium

See also[edit]

  • Basin Reserve – Wellington's other international cricket ground


External links[edit]