-Capacity 48 000
Newlands Rugby Stadium, nestled in the leafy southern suburbs of Cape Town, is the headquarters of the Vodacom Stormers rugby team. The 3rd oldest stadium in world rugby, the grand old ground has a capacity of 48 000 and, with the tall stands in close proximity to the playing field, it is world renowned for its electric and intimidating atmosphere.
The playing field is unique in the Southern Hemisphere, containing 11km of polypropylene fibers, stitched between the grass, into the playing surface. The Vodacom Stormers train in Cape Town's northern suburbs during the week, but play all their home games at Newlands.
The decision to buy the ground the stadium stands on was made by the Western Province Rugby and Football Union in 1888.
The first official match at Newlands took place on 31 May 1890 when Stellenbosch defeated Villagers there in front of a crowd of about 2400 people. The following year the stadium hosted its first rugby test when the British Lions toured South Africa.
It wasn't until 1919 that the first permanent concrete stands were erected on the grounds. Later, in 1927, the New Grand Stand was erected and the field layout was changed to run from North-South. Yet more changes were came in 1931 when the South Stand was also enlarged.
In the 1950's parts of a new Grand Stand as well as South Stand were completed, facilities such as lifts and a Presidential room were added, a fourth bay was added to the Grand Stand, and an extension was added to the lower gallery.
The 1970's saw the stadium change once again as the headquarters of SA Rugby moved to Newlands, and several stands were built or renovated, while the 1980's saw private suits and function rooms erected on top of the North Stands as well as demolition of the old South Stand and inauguration of the new Danie Craven stand (also with private suits and function rooms). The 80's also saw 10,253 seats added to the stadium.
Between 1990 and 1995 the stadium was under constant renovation adding technology, increasing capacity, and upgrading facilities as part of a 3 phase redevelopment plan in anticipation of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, where the opening match of the tournament was played.
After the World Cup development continued with several redevelopment and expansion projects to make the stadium more modern and increase capacity.
The stadiums name was changed several times by various sponsors, first from Newlands to Norwich Park Newlands in 1996, then to Fedsure Park Newlands in 2000 due to a merger between Fedsure and Norwich and finally back to simply Newlands by Investec when they became the main sponsor in 2002. In late 2005, Vodacom became the stadium's main sponsor, but followed Investec's precedent and kept the stadium name as Newlands.
Various sports clubs currently use the stadium as their homebase, including:
Stormers in Super Rugby
Ajax Cape Town in the Premier Soccer League
Western Province Rugby Union in the Currie Cup (rugby union)