( Kings Park Stadium)
ABSA Stadiumis in the heart of Durban overlooking the lustrous Indian Ocean stands a stadium representing the true essence of the vast crowd that so often fills its seats. The ABSA Stadium Durban has been a prominent feature in the local and international sporting and entertainment community for more than a century and will undoubtedly continue to stand tall for many a year to come.
The Natal Sharks rugby team have had many successes over the years in national (Currie Cup) and international competitions (Super 12). The 52,000 seater ABSA Stadium, also known as Kings Park Stadium, is their home ground. The season is held during the winter, beginning with the Super 12 in about April, followed by the domestic championships and the Curry Cup, mid-year. Wear black and white to show support, beware if you don't. There is 'the Shark Cage' shop of memorabilia at the stadium, also serving Springbok merchandise.
A Brief History of the ABSA Stadium
The stadium was originally built in 1891 with the lower embankment seating on the eastern side, which could accommodate approximately 5000 people, being added in 1953. In 1955 the grandstand on the western side of the stadium was built and this could seat an additional 3500 people.
Danie Craven, the President of the SA Rugby Board at the time, officially opened the stadium in 1958 with a capacity crowd of 12 000. Huge developments were undertaken during 1960 and it was at this stage that the north, south and east upper terraces were constructed.
During 1976 the first renovations took place for a test between the Springboks and the All Blacks and the stadium was extended to house a capacity crowd of 44 000. Another major development took place in February 1984 when the decision was made to modify the old Western stand and build an enormous new cantilever grandstand with all the facilities that could possibly have been envisioned including 84 private suites on 2 levels, administration offices, entertainment areas and full media facilities.
The south/west corner suites were added in 1989 with the north/west suites being added during the course of 1990 bringing the number of executive suites to 125. Announcements of further developments that would establish Kings Park as one of the foremost sporting venues in the country were made during 1992. An additional 45 suites were added to the western grandstand and 170 suites were built on the site where the original eastern embankment once stood. These exclusive suites were the first of their kind in terms of their propinquity to the playing field and offered an unsurpassed viewing experience.
During 1995 the stadium capacity was extended to 52 000 for the Rugby World Cup with the development of the Eastern Upper stands. The stadium currently has a seating capacity of 52 500 with 350 private suites and a number of public bars. On 11 November 1999 Absa took over the naming rights for Kings Park Stadium when the rugby and football stadium was officially renamed The ABSA Stadium Durban. Absa explained that the name change would be advantageous to the stadium itself as well as players and supporters who utilize the stadium facilities.
Some Great Match History
Durban's Absa Stadium, after a quiet history as a test venue, enjoyed a rebirth in 1990 when the ground underwent a massive upgrade and the hometown Natal Sharks won the prestigious Currie Cup for the first time. The Absa Stadium, formerly known as Kings Park, hosted just 12 rugby tests between 1891 and 1992, beginning in 1962 when South Africa defeated the British Lions 3-0. Since 1992, the ground has played hosted to way more than 12 tests! It has also been a favoured venue for matches featuring the South African national football side, Bafana Bafana. In fact, it played host to the team's first international match, a friendly against Cameroon in July 1992, which was won 1-0 by South Africa. In 2003 it hosted the friendly between England and South Africa that launched the Rainbow Nation's bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Bafana Bafana lost 2-1, but the bid was successful!
In a rich history of many wonderful matches at The Absa Stadium, three two stand out above all others. The first was mentioned above: the democratic South Africa's introduction to international football against Cameroon in 1992. The other contests involved rugby Tests.
The first took place in 1995 when South Africa faced France in atrocious conditions in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup. The game was a cliff-hanger, and only splendid and stubborn Springbok defense earned the home team a nail-biting 19-15 victory. The second memorable rugby match took place in 1998 when Natal Sharks' favorite Gary Teichmann led the Boks to the Tri-Nations title with an unbelievable 24-23 win over the All Blacks. South Africa trailed 23-5 with 12 minutes remaining, but they lifted themselves and an ecstatic crowd as they crossed New Zealand's try line three times to claim a famous victory.
This marvelous Rugby Staduim know is next door to the newly build
which played host to the fifa world cup in 2010.
10am till 4pm, Monday to Friday
10am till 12:30pm, Saturdays, and for all major sporting events
The stadium is just north of Old Fort road, between N.M.R. and Umgeni roads, Jacko
Jackson Drive, Durban
Leave the ABSA Stadium and reutn to the home