Also or formerly known as Coca-Cola Park
Home team(s) Golden Lions, Lions
Other sports Football, Cricket
Time 11:11, Fri Mar 07, 2014 (UTC +0200)
Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg staged the third World Cup final in 1995, when hosts South Africa defeated New Zealand in extra time to win the trophy for the first time. The pre-match fly-past by a jumbo jet low over the high Ellis Park grandstand remains one of the sports' most dramatic experiences and images.
The Transvaal Rugby Football Union were on the hunt for a new ground in the 1920s until 1927 when Mr JD Ellis of the city council agreed the use of a venue in Doornfontein. The stadium was built in eight months and in June 1928 the first Test was played there with the Springboks defeated 7-6 by Maurice Brownlie's All Blacks. A crowd reported at 100,000 attended the British & Irish Lions Test in 1955.
For a few years in the 1940s and 50s Test cricket was played at Ellis Park until the Wanderers' current ground was established. Ellis Park is, however, among the world's great stadiums, enhanced by further construction in 1980-81 to present the current, more modern-looking version.
Ellis Park stages at least one Test every year; the Lions Super 14 and Golden Lions Currie Cup teams play there, as do the Orlando Pirates in soccer. The ground was rebranded Coca Cola Stadium in July 2008 in a reported R450 million deal and will be a venue for the 2010 football World Cup. Renovations have increased capacity to 65,000 and there will be five group games, one second round game and one quarter-final.
Sadly football was also responsible for the worst disaster of its kind in South African sport when in 2001 a stampede during a soccer match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs led to the deaths of 42 people.