|This article is outdated. (November 2010)|
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 and hosted the 2009 Currie Cup final. It is occasionally used for local football matches as well.
In June 2010, the stadium hosted opening round games and one game of the round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium was named after Robert Owen Loftus 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.
|This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)|
1995 Rugby World Cup
Loftus hosted some matches during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
Loftus Versfeld was one of the venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. It hosted the Group B matches USA vs. Italy, USA vs. Brazil and Brazil vs. Italy.
2010 FIFA World Cup
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. The floodlights, sound system, scoreboards and stadium roof were improved and, while expected to be finished in August 2008, renovation was completed in January 2009.
Loftus Versfeld is the home ground of the Super Rugby franchise the Bulls and was the venue of the 2009 Super 14 Final. Loftus Versfeld is also the home ground of the Blue Bulls union in South Africa's Currie Cup. The stadium was upgraded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with floodlights and new roofing on the eastern stand as well as roads and parking facilities around it.
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.
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.
- Vodacom Blue Bulls
- Stadium picture The Telegraph
- Virtual Tour of Loftus Versfeld Extreme Definition
- Loftus Versfeld Virtual Seating Plan
- FIFA Profile