Celebrated for hosting the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which was won by the country's national team the Springboks, Ellis Park Stadium in the city of Johannesburg was constructed in 1928. With the current sponsor, it is now also known as Emirates Airline Park.
Here are some interesting facts.
A few years ago, the famed stadium underwent extensive restorations in order to accommodate the millions of international players and fans that came to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ellis Park Stadium is an open-air stadium with an old-fashioned square shape, although the sides are somewhat curved, giving it more aesthetic appeal.
The renovations to the stadium included adding new upper tiers behind each of the goal posts and expanding its seating capacity to 70 000 from 60 000.
Now operational again, the stadium boasts state-of-the-art audio-visual and technical equipment, media facilities, access for the physically disabled, nine conference venues, executive suites, and banqueting facilities.
These upgrades safeguard the stadium as a world-class sports facility ready for just about any gathering - whether it be business, sport or entertainment.
Ten years after hosting the memorable Rugby World Cup Final in 2005, the stadium became the first black-owned stadium in the country, when the Golden Lions Rugby Union relinquished management to a majority black-owned company.
Today, the stadium is managed by Interza Lesego, Orlando Pirates Football Club and Ellis Park World of Sport.
As one of the busiest and best-equipped cities in the country, Johannesburg offers an interesting urban hub with plenty of accommodation, tourist attractions, shopping malls, galleries, and boutiques to add to the itinerary of those visitors who choose to stay around the stadium.
Ellis Park Stadium was first named for Mr J.D. Ellis who initially made the land for the stadium available.
Ellis Park is home to the following teams:
• Orlando Pirates (Premier Soccer League) • Lions (Super Rugby Southern Hemisphere rugby competition) • Golden Lions (Currie Cup domestic rugby competition)
Tours of the stadium can be arranged and it is also possible to visit the Ellis Park Rugby Museum (located within the stadium), which holds a huge and fascinating collection of rugby memorabilia relating to the stadium and the Springboks.
This article first appeared on 702 : 10 cool stats and facts about Ellis Park