Ellis Park Stadium (known as Emirates Airline Park for sponsorship reasons) is a rugby union and association football stadium in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa. It hosted the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was won by the country's national team, the Springboks. The stadium was the country's most modern when it was upgraded in 1982 to accommodate almost 60,000 people. Today, the stadium hosts both football and rugby and is also used as a venue for other large events, such as open-air concerts. It has become synonymous with rugby as the only time when rugby was not played at Ellis Park was during 1980 and 1981, when the stadium was under construction during the upgrade.

Ellis Park
Emirates Airline Park
Former namesCoca-Cola Park (2008–12)
Location47 N. Park Lane Doornfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, 2028
Coordinates26°11′51″S 28°3′39″E / 26.19750°S 28.06083°E / -26.19750; 28.06083
OwnerCity of Johannesburg, Orlando Pirates, Interza Lesego, Ellis Park Stadium (Pty) Ltd
OperatorEllis Park World of Sport
Capacity62,567 (Rugby union and Soccer)
55,686 (2010 FIFA World Cup)
Broke ground1927
Opened1928; 96 years ago (1928)[1]
Construction costR 40 Million
Lions (1996–present)
Golden Lions

The stadium was originally named after J.D. Ellis, who made the area for the stadium available. A five-year ZAR 450 million (US$58 million/£30 million) naming rights deal was signed in 2008 with The Coca-Cola Company, resulting in the stadium being named Coca-Cola Park between 2008 and 2012.[2]

League, provincial, and international football games have all been played at the stadium, and it has seen such teams as Brazil, Manchester United and Arsenal play. Ellis Park Stadium is the centrepiece of a sporting sector in the south-east of Johannesburg, where it neighbours Johannesburg Stadium (athletics), Standard Bank Arena,[3] Ellis Park Tennis Stadium,[4] and an Olympic-class swimming pool.

Ellis Park is home to the following teams:

Cricket matches were held at the stadium in the past. Ellis Park hosted six Test matches between 1948 and 1954,[6] but it has not been used for first-class cricket since New Wanderers Stadium opened in 1956 and is now only used for rugby and football.

History edit

In 1889 when after a long and hard-fought battle the Transvaal Rugby Football Union (now the Golden Lions Rugby Union) was formed and established a domain. The first games were played at the Wanderers Club's stadium whose grounds were situated where Johannesburg Park Station is today. Rows between the different rugby clubs as well as the Wanderers Club's claim of the field for the use of cricket games, forced the Transvaal Rugby Football Union to look for an alternative.

An area with a quarry and garbage dumps in Doornfontein was identified in, 1927 as the possible alternative. The Transvaal Rugby Football Union negotiated with the Johannesburg City Council's, J.D. Ellis, (after whom Ellis Park was named) for the availability of these grounds and 13 acres (53,000 m2) was made available. On 10 October 1927 the final rental agreement was signed. A quote of £600 was accepted for the grass and with a loan from the city council to the amount of £5,000, the building of the new stadium could commence. The stadium was built in eight months and in June 1928 the first test was played against the All Blacks. Thus was born Ellis Park which became internationally renowned and synonymous with rugby. Crowds of between 38,000 and a record crowd of 95,000 against the British and Irish Lions (in 1955) attended the matches.

Ellis Park played the host for cricket matches after an agreement was reached between Transvaal Rugby Football Union and The Transvaal Cricket Union. From 1947 when the cricket pitch was laid until 1956, Ellis Park was host to various cricket matches with the final games played in the 1953/54 series against New Zealand. Cricket then moved to its new venue where the current Wanderers still is today.

On 28 April 1969 the Transvaal Rugby Football Union formed a stadium committee to investigate the possibilities of a new stadium since the one in use did not meet all the modern requirements. Fifteen years later, after the game between Transvaal and the World Team on 31 March 1979, the old Ellis Park was demolished. Games were played at the Wanderers while the stadium was being rebuilt.

A new Transvaal Rugby Football Union management was elected in 1984 with Louis Luyt as chairman and Joe Poolman as his deputy. The decision was taken to place Ellis Park Stadium under the management of a trust. In 1987 after the Ellis Park Stadium was listed on the stock exchange and due to sound financial management by Luyt, Ellis Park could announce that the debt to the amount of R53 million was fully paid and a further 86 suites could be erected.

In 2005 Ellis Park made history by becoming the first black-owned stadium in South Africa. The Golden Lions Rugby Football Union passed the management of the Ellis Park Precinct to a company with 51% black ownership. Orlando Pirates, Interza Lesego and Ellis Park Stadium (Pty) Ltd make up the new management of the Ellis Park Precinct.[5]

The stadium was witness to an incident during a Premier Soccer League football match between Orlando Pirates and Black Leopards on 17 January 2007, when high winds blew several sideline advertising boards onto the pitch, striking a linesman and three players. Play resumed 7 minutes later, but the match was ultimately abandoned 6 minutes before full-time due to sudden torrential rains and lightning. The game's kickoff previously had been delayed 15 minutes by a power failure.[7]

Disaster of 11 April 2001 edit

In 2001 a crowd crush occurred during a soccer game between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. With 43 people killed, the Ellis Park Stadium disaster is to date the biggest of its kind in South Africa.[8]

Crime edit

The inner city suburb of Doornfontein has experienced increasing crime, leading to a number of incidents affecting stadium goers, and impacting stadium attendances. As a result, there have been calls for South African rugby to move to another venue in Johannesburg.[9][10]

Concerts edit

On 12 January 1985, Ellis Park Stadium was the venue for Concert in the Park, a benefit concert organised by Hilton Rosenthal. 22 artists played the benefit, which raised money for Operation Hunger, a South African non-profit organisation.[11][12]

Among the touring artists who have performed at the Stadium are:

Artist Date Tour
Whitney Houston 12 November 1994 (1994-11-12) The Bodyguard World Tour
Roxette 15 January 1995 (1995-01-15) Crash! Boom! Bang! Tour
Rolling Stones 24 & 25 February 1995 Voodoo Lounge Tour
Phil Collins 17 March 1995 Both Sides of the World Tour
Janet Jackson 21 November 1998 Velvet Rope Tour
Eminem 1 March 2014 Rapture Tour

Whitney Houston's concert was recorded and released as a home video titled: Whitney: The Concert for a New South Africa). A year later also Roxette's concert during the Crash! Boom! Bang! World Tour was recorded and released on VHS home video.

Sporting events edit

1995 Rugby World Cup edit

In 1995, South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup, and the final was held at Ellis Park on 24 June in front of 65,000 spectators. South Africa beat New Zealand 15–12 in extra time.

Date Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
27 May 1995   Ireland 19–43   New Zealand Pool C 38,000
31 May 1995   New Zealand 34–9   Wales Pool C 38,000
4 June 1995   Ireland 24–23   Wales Pool C 35,000
10 June 1995   South Africa 42–14   Western Samoa Quarter-finals 52,000
24 June 1995   South Africa 15–12 (aet)   New Zealand Final 65,000

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup edit

Ellis Park was one of the host venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Date Time (SAST) Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
14 June 2009 16:00   South Africa 0–0   Iraq Group A 48,837
18 June 2009 20:30   Egypt 1–0   Italy Group B 52,150
20 June 2009 20:30   Iraq 0–0   New Zealand Group A 23,295
25 June 2009 20:30   Brazil 1–0   South Africa Semi-finals 48,049
28 June 2009 20.30   United States 2–3   Brazil Final 52,291

2010 FIFA World Cup edit

Brazil vs North Korea match

Ellis Park hosted five group games, one second-round game and one quarter-final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which its capacity was increased by 5,000 seats on the northern side only, to 62,000.[1] Areas like the Presidential suite also received a facelift. There was also a hospitality room and new changing rooms. The total cost of renovations was R500 million and were completed in June 2008, two years before the World Cup.

Date Time (SAST) Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
12 June 2010 16:00   Argentina 1–0   Nigeria Group B 55,686
15 June 2010 20:30   Brazil 2–1   North Korea Group G 54,331
18 June 2010 16:00   Slovenia 2–2   United States Group C 45,573
21 June 2010 20:30   Spain 2–0   Honduras Group H 54,386
24 June 2010 16:00   Slovakia 3–2   Italy Group F 53,412
28 June 2010 20:30   Brazil 3–0   Chile Round of 16 54,096
3 July 2010 20:30   Paraguay 0–1   Spain Quarter-finals 55,359

Cricket Records edit

Test centuries edit

A total of 13 Test match centuries were scored on the ground.[13]

No. Player Score Date Team Opposing team Inn. Result
1 Len Hutton 158 27 December 1948   England   South Africa 1 Drawn[14]
2 Cyril Washbrook 195 1
3 Denis Compton 114 1
4 Eric Rowan 156*   South Africa   England 3
5 Allan Watkins 111 12 February 1949   England   South Africa 1 Drawn[15]
6 Dudley Nourse 129*   South Africa   England 2
7 Len Hutton 123   England   South Africa 3
8 Lindsay Hassett 112 24 December 1949   Australia   South Africa 1 Australia won[16]
9 Sam Loxton 101 1
10 Arthur Morris 111 10 February 1950   Australia   South Africa 1 Australia won[17]
11 Jack Moroney[A] 118 1
12 Jack Moroney[A] 101* 3
13 Neil Harvey 100 3

Test match five-wicket hauls edit

Eight five-wicket hauls were taken in Test matches on the ground.

Five-wicket hauls in Men's Test matches at Ellis Park
No. Bowler Date Team Opposing Team Inn O R W Result
1 Cuan McCarthy 12 February 1949   South Africa   England 1 35.7[a] 114 5 Drawn[15]
2 Keith Miller[B] 24 December 1949   Australia   South Africa 2 15[a] 40 5 Australia won[16]
3 Bill Johnston[B] 3 20.1[a] 44 6
4 Michael Melle[C] 10 February 1950   South Africa   Australia 1 33[a] 113 5 Drawn[17]
5 David Ironside[D] 24 December 1953   South Africa   New Zealand 2 19[a] 51 5 South Africa won[18]
6 Neil Adcock 4 19[a] 43 5
7 Hugh Tayfield 29 January 1954   South Africa   New Zealand 2 14[a] 13 6 South Africa won[19]
8 Neil Adcock 3 26[a] 45 5

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Eight-ball overs were used in this match.
  1. ^ a b Moroney scored two centuries in the match.
  2. ^ a b Miller took his five-wicket haul in the second innings of the match and Johnston his in the third after South Africa were asked to follow on.
  3. ^ Melle took his five-wicket haul on his Test match debut.
  4. ^ Ironside took his five-wicket haul on his Test match debut.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Ellis Park". FIFA. Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  2. ^ "Ellis Park Stadium renamed to Coca-Cola Park". Ellis Park Stadium (Pty) Limited. 4 July 2008. Archived from the original (Microsoft Word) on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  3. ^ "Coca-Cola Park : Standard Bank Arena". Archived from the original on 7 March 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  4. ^ Johannesburg Stadium
  5. ^ a b "The History of Ellis Park". Ellis Park Stadium (Pty) Limited. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Ellis Park: Test Matches". ESPN Cricinfo. 17 June 2011. Archived from the original on 16 December 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Strong wind causes chaos at Ellis Park". The Mercury. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  8. ^ "Final Report". Commission of Inquiry into the Ellis Park Stadium Soccer Disaster of 11 April 2001. Government of South Africa. 29 August 2002. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  9. ^ Tsotsi, Athenkosi (27 July 2023). "Boks Test at Ellis Park: No place to hide for criminals". The Citizen. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  10. ^ Tshwaku, Khanyiso. "Has the time come for Springbok rugby to move on from Ellis Park?". Sport. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  11. ^ Mojapelo, Max (2008). "Into the Vibrant Eighties". In Galane, Sello (ed.). Beyond Memory: Recording the History, Moments and Memories of South African Music. African Minds. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-920299-28-6. OCLC 966015704.
  12. ^ Durbach, Dave (30 July 2018). "A Peaceful Riot". Mahala. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  13. ^ Statistics - Statsguru - Test Matches - Batting Records, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  14. ^ 2nd Test, England (Marylebone Cricket Club) tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Dec 27-30 1948, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  15. ^ a b 4th Test, England (Marylebone Cricket Club) tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Feb 12-16 1949, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  16. ^ a b 1st Test, Australia tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Dec 24-28 1949, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  17. ^ a b 4th Test, Australia tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Feb 10-14 1950, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  18. ^ 2nd Test, New Zealand tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Dec 24-29 1953, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  19. ^ 4th Test, New Zealand tour of South Africa at Johannesburg, Jan 29 - Feb 2 1954, CricInfo. Retrieved 2020-03-07.

External links edit

Preceded by Fed Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by Rugby World Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA Confederations Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by