Emirates Ellis Park Stadium
Home of the Emirates Lions and Xerox Golden Lions
Emirates Airline Park, also popularly known by its old name Ellis Park Stadium, was constructed in 1928 and named for JD Ellis who initially made the land for the stadium available. Over the years, the stadium has been the site of many milestones in South African sporting history, most memorably that 1995 Rugby World Cup Final – South Africa’s first major international sporting achievement after years of isolation.
On the world stage
- On 24 June 1995, the South African Springboks defeated New Zealand’s All Blacks 15-12 in the Rugby World Cup at this stadium. Minutes after Joel Stransky’s heart-grabbing, last-gasp drop kick that won the match, the game made international news headlines when the country’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, walked onto the pitch in that now legendary green and gold Springbok jersey to present the trophy to team captain Francois Pienaar.
- The stadium – and the country – roared with joy and pride and millions of people of all races who’d been glued all afternoon to their TVs and radios celebrated together: a key stepping stone towards the creation of a united South Africa. The event became the theme of a book (Playing the Enemy) in 2008, followed by a Hollywood film adaptation, "Invictus", in 2009 and an ESPN TV documentary (The 16th Man) in 2010.
- In 2009, the stadium played host to the FIFA Confederations Cup™ final. The stadium was upgraded prior to the event, considered a dress rehearsal for the FIFA World Cup™ in 2010, during which the stadium also hosted numerous international football matches.
- In 2005, Ellis Park Stadium made history by becoming the first black-owned stadium in South Africa. Accommodating around 60,000 spectators, ongoing upgrades, renovations and safety reviews confirm Emirates Airlines Park reputation as one of the best stadiums in the world.
- It is home to the Emirates Lions (Vodacom Super Rugby) and Xerox Golden Lions teams (Currie Cup/SuperSport Rugby Challenge).
- Although used primarily for rugby games, it also hosts other large scale events such as international soccer matches and concerts and is a popular location for corporate and business events.
- With nine conference venues which can hold up to 1,000 people at a time, and executive suites and banqueting facilities overlooking the pitch, Emirates Airline Park is state-of-the-art ready for any event; be it business, sport or entertainment. Click here for more information.
For information on other venues and facilities incorporated within or adjacent to Emirates Airline Park, click here.