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Westpac Stadium, previously known as WestpacTrust Stadium, is a major sporting venue in Wellingtonmarker, New Zealandmarker. Due to its shape, it is colloquially known as The Cake-Tin in other parts of New Zealand, although the locals refer to it by either its proper name or simply as The Stadium. Fans of football team refer to the stadium as The Ring of Fire. The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction and is situated close to major transport facilities (such as Wellington Railway Stationmarker) one kilometre north of the CBD. It was built on reclaimed railway land, which was surplus to requirements.

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

The stadium also serves as a large-capacity venue for concerts, including the annual "Rock2Wgtn" music festival.

Facilities

The stadium is a multi-purpose facility, though used mainly for rugby union. It is the home of the Hurricanes Super 14 team and the Wellington Lions Air New Zealand Cup team, and also hosts the NZI International Sevens, one of the events in the annual IRB Sevens World Series for national rugby sevens teams. It is also the home venue for A-League football team Wellington Phoenix FC. The stadium has also been used for rugby league matches. Australian rules football exhibition matches were played in 2000 and 2001.

Off-field facilities built into the stadium also included the Stadium Centre of University of Otagomarker, and a campus for the Wellington School of Cricket, run by the Wellington Cricket Association.

Notable events

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

During a 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.

2006 events at the stadium have included a concert by The Rolling Stones which ended the Australasian leg of their A Bigger Bang World Tour, and World Wrestling Entertainment's first ever New Zealand show, part of the WWE Smackdown! Road to Wrestlemania Tour (March 4).

On October 14, 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 December 1, 2007, the stadium hosted an exhibition match between Wellington Phoenix FC and Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy won 4-1 in front of 31,853 fans, the largest crowd for a football match in New Zealand history.

The stadium hosted the inaugural two day "Rock2Wgtn" music festival over Easter 2008, headlined by Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne. Attendance over the 2 days was around 50,000.

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

It has been announced by New Zealand Football that the stadium will be hosting the national team's upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in November against Bahrain. New Zealand won the game 1-0, with a record crowd for a football match in New Zealand, 35,194.

Gallery

centre
File:Westpac Stadium Crowd.jpg|Crowds filling in before a Tri Nations matchFile:westpacout.jpg|The Stadium entranceFile:westpacnight.jpg|The stadium during a One Day Cricket match in January 2005.File:Rock2Wgtn 2008.JPG|Rock2Wgtn Easter weekend 2008.


See also

  • Basin Reservemarker - Wellington's other international cricket ground


References

  1. Fletcher Construction website
  2. Topless Beckham delights female fans at Phoenix party | infonews.co.nz New Zealand's local news community
  3. Rock promoter blames Easter laws for loss


External links




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