Sky Stadium
The Cake Tin
The stadium on a matchday in 2017
Map
Former namesWestpacTrust Stadium (2000–2002)
Westpac Stadium (2002–2019)
LocationWellington, New Zealand
Coordinates41°16′23″S 174°47′9″E / 41.27306°S 174.78583°E / -41.27306; 174.78583
OwnerWellington Regional Stadium Trust
(Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council)
OperatorWellington Regional Stadium Trust
Capacity34,500[3]
Record attendance47,260[4]
Field sizeLength (north–south) 235 metres (771 ft)
Width (west–east) 185 metres (607 ft) (stadium dimensions, not the playing surface)
Area 15,050 square metres (162,000 sq ft)[2]
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground12 March 1998
Opened3 January 2000[1]
Construction costNZ$130 million
ArchitectWarren and Mahoney
Populous (then Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture)
Project managerBeca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd
Main contractorsFletcher Construction Ltd
Tenants
Hurricanes (Super Rugby) (2000–present)
Wellington Lions (National Provincial Championship) (2000–present)
Wellington Phoenix (A-League Men) (2008–present)
Wellington Phoenix Women (A-League Women) (2022–present)
Wellington Firebirds (Super Smash) (2012–2014)
St Kilda Football Club (AFL) (2013–2015)
New Zealand Institute of Sport
New Zealand men's national football team (some matches)
Website
skystadium.co.nz
Ground information
End names
Scoreboard End
City End
International information
First ODI8–9 January 2000:
 New Zealand v  West Indies
Last ODI3 February 2019:
 New Zealand v  India
First T20I22 December 2006:
 New Zealand v  Sri Lanka
Last T20I21 February 2024:
 New Zealand v  Australia
Only WODI15 February 2000:
 New Zealand v  England
First WT20I26 February 2010:
 New Zealand v  Australia
Last WT20I7 March 2021:
 New Zealand v  England
As of 21 February 2024
Source: ESPNcricinfo
Wellington Regional Stadium and CentrePort Wellington, 2015

Wellington Regional Stadium (known commercially as Sky Stadium through naming rights)[5][6] is a major sporting venue in Wellington, New Zealand. The stadium's bowl site size is 48,000 m2 (520,000 sq ft).

The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction[5] and is situated close to major transport facilities (such as Wellington railway station) one kilometre (0.62 mi) north of the CBD. It was built on reclaimed railway land, which was surplus to requirements.

The stadium also serves as a large-capacity venue for concerts and is known colloquially as "The Cake Tin".[7]

History

The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction and was the first bowl stadium built in New Zealand. It was built to replace Athletic Park, which was no longer considered adequate for international events due to its location and state of disrepair. The stadium was also built to provide a larger-capacity venue for One Day International cricket matches, due to the Basin Reserve ground losing such matches to larger stadiums in other parts of the country.[8][9]

Naming rights

Westpac Trust, later known as just Westpac, signed on to be the naming sponsor for the stadium when it opened in 2000. That arrangement continued for twenty years until 31 December 2019.[10] On 22 August 2019, it was announced that Sky had signed a six-year agreement to take over as the naming sponsor of the stadium from 1 January 2020.[11]

Tenants

The stadium is a multi-purpose facility, though used mainly for sporting events. It is the home of the Wellington Lions Mitre 10 Cup rugby team and the Hurricanes Super Rugby team. The stadium also hosted the Wellington Sevens, one of the events that was part of the annual World Rugby Sevens Series for national rugby sevens teams. Sky Stadium regularly serves as a home venue for All Blacks rugby matches.

Sky Stadium is also the home venue for A-League team Wellington Phoenix FC, the stadium often referred to as "The Ring of Fire" by Phoenix supporters.[12] It also serves as a major home venue for the New Zealand men's national football team (the All Whites), notably hosting the home leg of their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bahrain.

During the summer the stadium generally hosts international and occasionally domestic limited overs cricket, with the home team being the New Zealand Black Caps for the international contests and Wellington Firebirds for the domestic competition.

The stadium has also been used for rugby league matches, including national team fixtures and New Zealand Warriors away fixtures. The St Kilda Football Club, an Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League (AFL), played home games on Anzac Day at the venue from 2013-15.

Off-field facilities built into the stadium also included the New Zealand Institute of Sport, and a campus for the Wellington School of Cricket, run by the Wellington Cricket Association.

Wellington Phoenix Women has confirmed they will play the majority of their home games at Sky Stadium for the 2022-23 A-League Women season,[13] after their inaugural season was based in Wollongong, Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.

Events

An aerial view of the stadium and its surrounds, 2010

In 2000, the then-Westpac Stadium hosted the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This was the first time the event was hosted outside Edinburgh, Scotland. They returned to Wellington to play at the stadium again in February 2016.[14]

In 2002, during an England versus Black Caps 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.

On 4 March 2006, WWE's first New Zealand show, WWE SmackDown Road to WrestleMania 22 Tour, was held at the stadium. 23,875 people attended the televised event. There were nine matches, including a triple threat match between Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, and Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)

Also in 2006, a concert was held by the Rolling Stones, which ended the Australasian leg of its A Bigger Bang World Tour,

On 14 October 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 1 December 2007, the stadium hosted an exhibition match between Wellington Phoenix FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy. LA Galaxy won 4–1 in front of 31,853 spectators, the largest crowd for non-national football (soccer) match in New Zealand history.[15]

On 17 January 2008, the stadium hosted the kickoff show of the Oceania leg of the Police Reunion Tour[16] and over Easter the inaugural two-day "Rock2Wgtn" music festival, headlined by Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne. Attendance over the two days was around 50,000.[17]

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

The stadium hosted the national team's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match on 14 November 2009 against Bahrain. New Zealand won the match 1–0, with a record crowd at the time of 35,194 for a football match in New Zealand.[18]

On 28 January 2010, AC/DC kicked off the Australasian leg of its Black Ice World Tour at the stadium. The concert quickly sold out so a second was scheduled for 30 January.[19] The stadium was also a venue for Bon Jovi's The Circle Tour in 2010.

The stadium hosted eight games during the 2011 Rugby World Cup including two quarter-final matches.

On 25 April 2013, the stadium hosted the first AFL game outside of Australia for premiership points with St Kilda hosting Sydney with Sydney winning by 16 points in front of 22,546 spectators.

On 11 May 2013, the stadium and Wellington hosted its first National Rugby League fixture since 2004 with the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors hosting the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at the stadium for 'The Capital Clash'.[20] The Warriors wore their 'Capital Clash' jerseys which incorporated the black and gold colours of Wellington and a design based on a strip worn by Wellington Rugby league teams in the 1970s. The Warriors lost the game late in the match in front of 28,096 fans.[21]

On 20 November 2013, the stadium hosted the second leg of the World Cup qualification inter-confederation play-off against Mexico, which resulted in New Zealand failing to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[22]

On 15 November 2014, the stadium hosted the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations Final. It was the first Four Nations Final held in New Zealand, though the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland hosted the inaugural final of the tournament, then known as the Tri-Nations, in 1999.[23]

The stadium was one of the venues for 2015 Cricket World Cup which was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. It hosted a total of four matches during the World Cup which included a quarter-final clash between the hosts New Zealand and West Indies.[24]

Guns N' Roses performed at the stadium during their Not in This Lifetime... Tour on 2 February 2017.[25]

On 11 November 2017, the stadium hosted its third World Cup qualification inter-confederation play-off with the New Zealand men's national football team drawing 0–0 against Peru in front of a new record crowd for a football match in New Zealand of 37,034 fans thanks to extra seating install in the stadium for the match.[26]

On 2 March 2019, the stadium drew its second largest crowd to date with an attendance of 46,474 for Eminem's Rapture concert.[27]

On 5 February 2020, Queen + Adam Lambert performed at the stadium during their Rhapsody Tour.[28]

On 8 December 2022, Guns N' Roses performed at the stadium during their 2020 Tour.[29] The Foo Fighters were supposed to play a week later on the 15 December, however it was cancelled after the death of Foo Fighters' drummer Taylor Hawkins.[30]

On 2 February 2023, Ed Sheeran performed as part of his +–=÷× Tour. The crowd of 47,000 was the largest ever attendance for an event at the stadium. Organisers said just over a third of the crowd (16,200) were from outside the Wellington region.[31]

On the 27th January 2024 The Foo Fighters played for the first time in Wellington on there World Tour.

The stadium hosted several matches for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.[32]

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Stage Attendance
21 July 2023 Spain Spain 3–0 Costa Rica Costa Rica Group C 22,966
23 July 2023 Sweden Sweden 2–1 South Africa South Africa Group G 18,317
25 July 2023 New Zealand New Zealand 0–1 Philippines Philippines Group A 32,357
27 July 2023 United States USA 1–1 Netherlands Netherlands Group E 27,312
29 July 2023 Sweden Sweden 5–0 Italy Italy Group G 29,143
31 July 2023 Japan Japan 4–0 Spain Spain Group C 20,957
2 August 2023 South Africa South Africa 3–2 Italy Italy Group G 14,967
5 August 2023 Japan Japan 3–1 Norway Norway Round of 16 33,042
11 August 2023 Spain Spain 2–1 (a.e.t) Netherlands Netherlands Quarter-finals 32,201

Major tournaments

2011 Rugby World Cup
11 September 2011 South Africa  17–16  Wales Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 33,331
17 September 2011 South Africa  49–3  Fiji Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 33,262
23 September 2011 Australia  67–5  United States Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 33,824
25 September 2011 Argentina  13–12  Scotland Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 26,937
1 October 2011 France  14–19  Tonga Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 32,763
2 October 2011 New Zealand  79–15  Canada Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 37,665
8 October 2011 Ireland  10–22  Wales Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 35,787
9 October 2011 South Africa  9–11  Australia Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 34,914

Reference:[33]

2015 Cricket World Cup
20 February (D/N)
Scorecard
England 
123 (33.2 overs)
v
 New Zealand
125/2 (12.2 overs)
New Zealand won by 8 wickets
Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 30,148
1 March
Scorecard
England 
309/6 (50 overs)
v
 Sri Lanka
312/1 (47.2 overs)
Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets
Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 18,183
12 March (D/N)
Scorecard
South Africa 
341/6 (50 overs)
v
 United Arab Emirates
195 (47.3 overs)
South Africa won by 146 runs
Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 4,901
21 March (D/N)
Scorecard
New Zealand 
393/6 (50 overs)
v
 West Indies
250 (30.3 overs)
New Zealand won by 143 runs
Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 30,268

Reference:[34]

Rugby League Test matches

Since its opening in 2000, Wellington Regional Stadium has hosted six New Zealand rugby league internationals. The results were as follows;.[35]

Date Opponent Result Attendance Part of
13 July 2001  Australia 10–28 26,580
12 October 2002 24–32 25,015 2002 New Zealand Kiwis tour
11 November 2006  Great Britain 34–4 16,401 2006 Tri-Nations
11 October 2007  Australia 0–58 16,681 2007 All Golds Tour
23 October 2010  England 24–10 20,324 2010 Four Nations
12 November 2014  Australia 22–18 25,093 2014 Four Nations Final
18 November 2017  Fiji 2–4 12,713 2017 World Cup

Gallery

Panorama of Wellington Regional Stadium during an A-League match in 2017

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sky Stadium Timeline" (PDF). Sky Stadium.
  2. ^ "Sky Stadium – Facts". Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Sky Stadium – Facts". Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Eminem in Wellington". 2 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Manuka Oval - History". Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  6. ^ Wenman, Eleanor (29 November 2019). "Wellington's Westpac Stadium loses its letters ahead of rebrand". Stuff.co.nz.
  7. ^ "Sky teases new experiences for fans at Wellington's Cake Tin stadium". 22 August 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Westpac Trust Stadium". Fletcher Construction. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Building the Stadium". Westpac Stadium. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Westpac And Stadium Trust to Conclude Partnership". Scoop. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  11. ^ Pullar-Strecker, Tom (22 August 2019). "Sky TV promises to improve fan experience after winning naming rights for Wellington venue". Stuff.co.nz.
  12. ^ "Beginners' Guide to the Wellington Phoenix". Media New Zealand.
  13. ^ "Wellington Phoenix to play A-League Women opener at Sky Stadium". stuff.co.nz.
  14. ^ Forbes, Michael (11 May 2015). "Edinburgh Military Tattoo returns to Wellington". Stuff. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  15. ^ "Topless Beckham delights female fans at Phoenix party - infonews.co.nz New Zealand's local news community". infonews.co.nz.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Stadiums events 2008". Westpac Stadium.
  17. ^ "Rock promoter blames Easter laws for loss". The Dominion Post. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  18. ^ "All Whites World Cup playoff nearly sold out as ticket sales crack 30,000". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  19. ^ Tonkin, Charlotte (28 July 2009). "Wellington gets another AC/DC concert after first sells out". 3 News. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  20. ^ Becht, Richard. "NRL: Vodafone Warriors 16, Bulldogs 24". Official Website. NZWar. Retrieved 13 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ Gilhooly, Daniel. "Warriors bemoan ref after loss to Bulldogs". Official Website. NRL. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  22. ^ "International Match Calendar 2013–2018" (PDF). FIFA.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Four Nations Schedule 2014 | Triple M NRL". www.triplem.com.au. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.
  24. ^ Venues of Cricket World Cup Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine cricketworldcup.com. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015
  25. ^ McConnell, Glenn (3 February 2017). "Guns N' Roses love their first Wellington visit, despite the rain". Stuff. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  26. ^ Hyslop, Liam. "All Whites play out tense scoreless draw with Peru in World Cup playoff first leg". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Eminem's 46,474, plus 100,000 at festival expected to push Wellington to its biggest day yet". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  28. ^ Klein-Nixon, Kylie (5 February 2020). "Queen + Adam Lambert dial the theatrics up to 11 for Wellington". Stuff. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  29. ^ Greenhill, Mark (8 December 2022). "Guns N' Roses fans turn Wellington into Paradise City". stuff.co.nz.
  30. ^ Molyneux, Vita (7 March 2022). "Summer of rock: Two legendary shows will bring crucial boost to Wellington economy". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  31. ^ Fuller, Piers (1 February 2023). "Ed Sheeran's Wellington concert set to break Sky Stadium records". stuff.co.nz.
  32. ^ Hickman, Bill (1 April 2021). "Wellington hosting FIFA 2023 Women's World Cup matches a 'dream come true' for local Football Fern". Stuff. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  33. ^ RUGBY WORLD CUP, 2011 / Highest attendance ESPNscrum.com. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015
  34. ^ Cricket World Cup Results & Attendances austadiums.com. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015
  35. ^ "KC Stadium". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 29 May 2015.