Free State Stadium

The Free State Stadium (Afrikaans: Vrystaatstadion), also known as Vodacom Park, is a stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa, used mainly for rugby union and association football. It was originally built for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and was one of the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The primary rugby union tenants of the facility are:

  • The Central Cheetahs, which represents Free State and Northern Cape provinces in the international Super 14 competition.
  • The Free State Cheetahs, which participate in South Africa's domestic competition, the Currie Cup.

The primary association football tenant is:

  • Bloemfontein Celtic, who play in South Africa's domestic Premier Soccer League.
Notable matches
1995 Rugby World Cup

The stadium was one of the host venues for the 1995 Rugby World Cup. It hosted first round matches in Pool C during the tournament.

1996 African Cup of Nations

The Free State Stadium was one of venues used for the 1996 African Cup of Nations. It hosted six group matches and a quarter-final match:

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

The Free State Stadium was one of the host venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

2010 FIFA World Cup

In advance of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a second tier was added to the main grandstand on the western side of the ground, increasing the net capacity from 36,538 to 40,911. Additionally, new turnstiles were created, the floodlights upgraded, electronic scoreboards installed, the sound system revamped to the required standards, and CCTV and media facilities improved.

Bloemfontein received R221 million to upgrade the stadium. Though cost estimates were at R245 million, the city decided to stand in for the R24m shortfall. Tenders were advertised in February & March 2007. Upgrade work started in July 2007.

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