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Free State Stadium
Bloemfontein, South Africa
ground photo
Also or formerly known as Vodacom Park
Capacity 40,000
Floodlights Yes
Home team(s) Cheetahs, Free State Cheetahs
Time 17:40, Mon Sep 22, 2014 (UTC +0200)
Profile

Between 1870 and 1890 both rugby and cricket matches were played on the field at the old show ground in Bloemfontein. Games were played on a piece of ground between Kollerstreet and Glenroad. In years to follow many games were played on the Ramblers grounds and on Springbok Park.

Enormous effort and pressure from local administrators finally convinced the authorities to build a stadium on the ground in1954 next to the Bloemfontein Zoo and at the time Springbok Park was one of the most modern in South Africa.

It had permanent seats for 12,000 people and on 28 April 1956 Free State played their first match in the Free State Stadium. They beat Northern Transvaal 8-6 with Wiek Basson scoring the first try for the Free State in the new stadium.

A new stadium was built between April 1994 and May 1995 in time for the 1995 World Cup Tournament in South Africa and it hosted games including New Zealand's record 145-17 defeat of Japan that saw Marc Ellis score six tries and Simon Culhane score 45 points including 20 conversions.

The ground is now the home of the Free State Cheetahs who are renowned for their enterprising style of play that saw them crowned South Africa's domestic champions for three years in a row between 2005-2007.

The stadium has been re-vamped ahead the 2010 FIFA World Cup and in June 2009 it played host the British and Irish Lions' third tour match against Free State.

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Latest Photos
Mar 30, 2013
Melbourne Rebels' James O'Connor (l) runs the ball
Melbourne Rebels' James O'Connor (l) runs the ball
© Getty Images
Mar 30, 2013
The Cheetahs' winger Raymond Rhule makes a break
The Cheetahs' winger Raymond Rhule makes a break
© Getty Images
Mar 30, 2013
The Cheetahs' Phillip van der Walt offloads
The Cheetahs' Phillip van der Walt offloads
© Getty Images
Feb 23, 2013
JP Pietersen runs through the Cheetahs' defence
JP Pietersen runs through the Cheetahs' defence
© Getty Images
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