Wellington Regional Stadium

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Sky Stadium
The Ring of Fire
Sky Stadium Logo.png
Wellington Regional Stadium viewed from Wadestown
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; 174.78583Coordinates: 41°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
Record attendance46,474[4]
Field sizeLength (north–south) 235 metres
Width (west–east) 185 metres (stadium dimensions, not the playing surface)
Area 15,050 square metres[2]
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
Hurricanes (Super Rugby) (2000–present)
Wellington Lions (Mitre 10 Cup) (2000–present)
Wellington Firebirds (Super Smash) (2012–2014)
Wellington Phoenix (A-League) (2008–present)
St Kilda Football Club (AFL) (2013–2015)
New Zealand Institute of Sport
New Zealand national football team (some matches)
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 T20I31 January 2020:
 New Zealand v  India
Only WODI15 February 2000:
 New Zealand v  England
First WT20I26 February 2010:
 New Zealand v  Australia
Last WT20I6 February 2019:
 New Zealand v  India
As of 1 September 2020
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.

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 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]


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[edit]

Westpac Trust, later known as just Westpac, signed on to be the naming sponsor for the stadium when it opened in 2000. Continuing that relationship for twenty years before it ended on 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]


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 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.


In 2000, The then Westpac Stadium hosted the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This was the first time the event was hosted outside Edinburgh, Scotland.

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 ever New Zealand show, WWE SmackDown Road to WrestleMania 22 Tour was held at the stadium. 23,875 people were in attendance to witness the televised event. There were 9 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 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.[13]

On 17 January 2008, the stadium hosted the kickoff show of the Oceania leg of The Police Reunion Tour[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17] 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 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'.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]

Guns N' Roses performed at the stadium during their Not In This Lifetime...Tour on February 2, 2017.

11 November 2017, the stadium hosted its third World Cup qualification inter-confederation play-off with the New Zealand 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.[23]

On 2 March 2019, the stadium drew its largest crowd to date with an attendance record of 46,474 for Eminem's Rapture 2019 concert.[24]

On 5 February Queen and Adam Lambert performed at the stadium during their Rhapsody Tour.

It will host several matches for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Major tournaments[edit]

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


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


Rugby League Test Matches[edit]

Since its opening in 2000, Wellington Regional Stadium has hosted six New Zealand rugby league internationals. The results were as follows;.[27]

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


Wellington Regional Stadium Panorama of the New Zealand v Peru - 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (inter-confederation play-offs) 0-0 draw in front of record crowd for Football in NZ of 37,034
Panorama of Wellington Regional Stadium during an A-League match in 2017

See also[edit]


  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". Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Manuka Oval - History". 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". 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. ^ "Topless Beckham delights female fans at Phoenix party - infonews.co.nz New Zealand's local news community". infonews.co.nz.
  14. ^ "Stadiums events 2008". westpacstadium.co.nz.
  15. ^ "Rock promoter blames Easter laws for loss". The Dominion Post. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  16. ^ "All Whites World Cup playoff nearly sold out as ticket sales crack 30,000". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  17. ^ Tonkin, Charlotte (28 July 2009). "Wellington gets another AC/DC concert after first sells out". 3 News. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  18. ^ Becht, Richard. "NRL: Vodafone Warriors 16, Bulldogs 24". Official Website. NZWar. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  19. ^ Gilhooly, Daniel. "Warriors bemoan ref after loss to Bulldogs". Official Website. NRL. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  20. ^ "International Match Calendar 2013–2018" (PDF). FIFA.com.
  21. ^ http://www.triplem.com.au/sydney/sport/nrl/news/2014/4/four-nations-schedule-2014/
  22. ^ Venues of Cricket World Cup cricketworldcup.com. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015
  23. ^ Hyslop, Liam. "All Whites play out tense scoreless draw with Peru in World Cup playoff first leg". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ RUGBY WORLD CUP, 2011 / Highest attendance ESPNscrum.com. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015
  26. ^ Cricket World Cup Results & Attendances austadiums.com. Retrieved 29 Nov 2015
  27. ^ "KC Stadium". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 29 May 2015.

External links[edit]