We’re about 8 months away from the beginning of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the third biggest international sporting event in terms of attendance. It will take place in New Zealand for the second time (last time in 1987). 13 Stadiums will be used in the tournament, and here is a run down of the parks.
Eden Park, Auckland
Being the host of the inaugural Rugby World final in 1987, Eden Park will be the first stadium to host two World Cup finals as it will be the focal point of the 2011 World Cup, hosting nine matches, including the opener, two semi finals and the final of course. The stadium can permanently seat 50,000 people but also has the ability to hold 60,000.
Lancaster Park, Christchurch
A stadium of many names. Currently known as AMI Stadium due to sponsorship right, formerly known as Jade Stadium and during the World Cup will be referred to as Christchurch stadium. The 38,628 seater hosts a variety of sports year-round and is home to Super Rugby side Crusaders.
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
One of the newer stadiums in this World Cup (built in 1999), the 36,000 seater and home to Super Rugby’s Hurricanes will host 7 matches during the 2011 World Cup and is mostly known to locals as The Stadium or The Cake-Tin in other parts of the nation.
Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Built in 1911 and with a capacity of 34,000, ‘The Hangi Pit’ will host 3 matches during the 2011 World Cup.
They’re building a new stadium in Dunedin, but if they don’t finish it on time for the World Cup, this old one, opened back in 1883, will be used for probably one final go. Known as The House of Pain due to the difficulty for visiting teams to win there, Carisbrook seats 29,000 fans and is home to the Highlanders in Super Rugby.
Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Home of the Chiefs in Super Rugby and Waikato Rugby Union in the ANZC , Waikato Stadium seats 25,800 fans and will host 3 matches during the World Cup.
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
One of two World Cup stadiums in Auckland, North Harbour seats 25,000 fans and was opened in 1997. Three World Cup matches will be played at North Harbour and is an occasional home to the Auckland Blues in Super Rugby.
Okara Park, Whangarei
Home to Northland Rugby Union, Okara Park seats 30,000 people and will host two World Cup Matches in 2011.
Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Built in 2002, Yarrow Stadium will host 3 World Cup Matches and can seat 30,000 fans.
McLean Park, Napier
Usually a Cricket stadium, McLean Park will host 3 matches during the World Cup and seats 22,000 people.
Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Home to the Tasman Makos, Trafalgar Park, named after the battle of Trafalgar, was upgraded to hold just over 20,000 fans for the 2011 World Cup and 2 matches will be played there during the tournament.
Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North
Part of the Arena Manawatu sports complex, FMG stadium will host two games in the World Cup and can seat 18,000 fans. The stadium is undergoing upgrades for the World Cup so it can seat over 20,000.
Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Opened in 2002, the ‘Roaring Pen’ can seat 17,000 people although has hosted more on special occasions. It will host two matches in the World Cup.