Cardiff City Stadium

Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City Stadium
Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd
Cardiff City Stadium logo.jpg
Cardiff City Stadium Pitch.jpg
Location Cardiff, Wales
Coordinates 51°28′22″N 3°12′11″W / 51.47278°N 3.20306°W / 51.47278; -3.20306Coordinates: 51°28′22″N 3°12′11″W / 51.47278°N 3.20306°W / 51.47278; -3.20306
Broke ground September 2007
Opened 22 July 2009
Owner Cardiff City Stadium Ltd[1]
Operator Cardiff City Stadium Ltd
Surface Desso GrassMaster
Construction cost £48 million
Architect Arup Associates
Capacity 26,828
Cardiff Blues (2009–)[2]
Cardiff City F.C. (2009–)
2011 Amlin Challenge Cup Final

The Cardiff City Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd) is a 26,828[3] all-seated sports stadium and concert venue in the Leckwith area of the capital, Cardiff, which is the home of Cardiff City Football Club who previously played at Ninian Park. The stadium is managed by Cardiff City Stadium Ltd., which is owned by Cardiff City Football Club Holdings Ltd. The stadium also hosts the home matches of the Cardiff Blues rugby union team until 2029.[4][5][6][7][8]

After the Millennium Stadium, it is the second largest stadium in Cardiff and in Wales. The stadium is part of the Leckwith development, which also includes the Cardiff International Sports Stadium. A branded sponsor name will be assigned as and when the naming rights sell. The stadium was officially opened on 22 July 2009, with Cardiff City playing a friendly match against Celtic.[9][10]



The stadium was built on the site of the former Cardiff Athletics Stadium and forms part of the larger Leckwith Development. The 60-acre (240,000 m2) development will cost £100m and include construction of the following:

  • A new 27,000[3] seater stadium
  • A new Cardiff International Sports Stadium
  • 470,000 sq ft (44,000 m2) retail development between 13 major retailers
  • A housing development on the site of Ninian Park
  • Brand new 70 room hotel with bar & restaurant
  • A new road system
Inside Cardiff City Stadium



First mooted as a long term target by former owner Sam Hammam, the new stadium first gained public approval after a meeting between Hammam and then Cardiff Lord Mayor Russell Goodway in January 2002, giving the club 12 months to agree a planning and business plan.[11] In November 2002 the club and Cardiff Council signed an outline agreement for the development, subject to later agreement for outline planning permission.[12]

In March 2003, stories began to emerge that the Chief Executive of the Millennium Stadium wanted Cardiff City to use their stadium instead, and saw no viable plan for two 50,000+ seat capacity stadium in the Welsh capital[13] This was increased in light of Cardiff City's promotion to the Championship in May 2003 with local fears over traffic and access problems.[14]

However, on 20 August 2003 Cardiff councillors gave unanimous approval to the stadium plans, although expressed concerns over the need and scale of the retail development but understood its need to fund the stadium.[15] On 9 September 2003 the Welsh Assembly gave approval to the plan.[16]

In April 2004, Cardiff Council gave the first phase covering the stadium with a capacity of 30,000 seats and new athletics track approval.[17] The next phase was held up by various legal and technical delays from November 2004[18] to January 2005, when the council gave approval to three detailed plans for the retail development, subject to agreement of suitable underlying business plans.[19]

Although development could have then started in May 2005, the underlying need for seed financing revealed the financial status of Cardiff City football club as poor, with over £30 million of debt and the need to sell star player and club captain Graham Kavanagh to Wigan Athletic F.C. in March 2005. It was also revealed that players and staff had not been paid for a month as the club struggled to honour a wage bill believed to be £750,000 a month, while auditors were looking at possible cutbacks.[20] On 1 March 2005 the club delayed the development until at least July 2005.[21]

After a 1–0 home loss to Sheffield United and a mobbing by fans, on 6 March 2005 Hammam apologised to fans, and released club accounts which showed club debt at March 2004 at £29.6 million.[21] Effectively, this was the start of the end of the Hammam era at Cardiff City, as he could not fund the required development.

After a summer sale of players, the entry of former Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale and numerous rumours, the development was given a 90 day time period by Cardiff Council from 31 December 2005 to finalise the underlying business plan.[22] On 31 January 2006 the developers secured Asda as the lead retailer of the new development, which enabled the final funding of the stadium to start.[23] This allowed the council timetable to extend by four months to September 2006.[24]

On 24 October 2006 Laing O'Rouke won the contract to develop the 30,000 seat stadium, which Ridsdale stated would be ready for December 2008.[25] On 27 November 2006 Cardiff Council approved the business plan for the stadium, and granted a 125 year lease for the land on which the stadium was to sit upon, allowing the final planning approval to be gained from the council authority and the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.[26]

In March 2007, the stadium plans were altered to allow construction to begin as soon as possible. To minimise construction costs, the 30,000 capacity was reduced to 25,000 by removing three-quarters of the second tier of seating, however the plans allow the option of completing the second tier to reach the 30,000 capacity if required.[27] The former chairman of Cardiff City, Steve Borley, said in March 2008 that "We are working to raise the capacity and right now it stands at 26,830. The task is to raise that even further, and we believe it could be almost 28,000 when the stadium opens."[28]

When work finally commenced Peter Ridsdale stated that he expected the stadium to be ready by Christmas 2008 but it was finally completed in May 2009. Although some believe this slight delay was caused by Cardiff City's ongoing legal action with Langston, it was actually caused by unexpectedly poor weather during the summer of 2007.[29]


Construction of the Cardiff City Stadium
Demolition of the Cardiff Athletics Stadium in November 2007
The Canton Stand (left) and Ninian Stand (right) during construction, July 2008
Completion of the Canton Stand (left) and the Grandstand (right)

Land clearance started on 21 February 2007,[30] while on 9 May, final finances were put in place for Laing O'Rourke to bring equipment on site and start construction.[31]

Developers and contractors

The lead developer was PMG Developments, a Cardiff based property developer led by Cardiff City director Paul Guy and former Wales rugby captain Mike Hall. Laing O'Rourke were contracted to build all the highway improvements necessary to cope with the increased capacity, as well as the demolition of the Cardiff Athletics Stadium and the construction of the retail park. Cowlin was picked as the preferred contractor for the new athletic stadium. Required analysis of soil and water for the site was performed by TES Bretby, part of the Environmental Services Group Ltd.


Leckwith Road was widened to a dual carriageway over 18 months, with the scheme allowing for an extra access lane to become available on matchdays.

The plan required the demolition of the previous Cardiff Athletics Stadium, of which the council insisted the replacement is built before the start of construction on the new football stadium. This was to avoid the city being without a major athletics facility for any length of time.

Work was scheduled to begin on the new athletics stadium in January 2007 with the track and throwing areas expected to be open for use by the end of July 2007. The new athletics stadium was expected to be completed by October 2007 and it was hoped that Cardiff City F.C.'s stadium would be able to open in December 2008, however the stadium finally completed in May 2009.[29]

Detailed timetable

  • 27 November 2006: Stadium business plan approved by Cardiff Council[26]
  • November 2006: Three-month period began for possible legal challenge to deal. The council also had to receive approval from the National Assembly for disposal of the Leckwith land at less than market value.
  • Early 2007: Work started.
  • Early Spring 2007: Building of the retail park begin along with the major highways works around Leckwith Road.
  • Summer 2007: New athletics track finished around the middle of the summer.
  • October 2007: Commence main contract works.
  • Christmas 2007: Complete demolition works.
  • January 2007: Commence piling.
  • March 2007: Commence steelwork.
  • Summer 2008: Commence cladding.
  • Autumn 2008: Complete structure.
  • October 2008: West stand weathertight.
  • Christmas 2008: Fit-out access.
  • January 2009: Power on.
  • May 2009: Stadium completed.[32]

Naming rights

Inevitably, the commercial needs for funding will probably mean that the stadium gains a sponsor's name. An early option was the sale to lifelong Bluebirds supporter Mike Young, the creator of the children's animation series SuperTed.[33]

In August 2007, chairman Peter Ridsdale revealed that the club had reduced a £24 million debt to Swiss based financiers Langston agreed under the chairmanship of Sam Hammam to £15 million, by agreeing to sell the stadium's naming rights to Langston for £9 million.[34] The stadium name was unveiled in March 2009 as Cardiff City Stadium and on 1 May, the official logo of the Cardiff CIty Stadium and the management company Cardiff City Stadium Ltd was unveiled.[35][1]

Official opening

The official opening match between Cardiff City and Celtic on 22 July 2009

The stadium was completed several weeks ahead of schedule and was officially opened with a pre-season friendly against Celtic on 22 July 2009.[36] There were two games played in the stadium prior to this: a Cardiff City Legends game on 4 July,[3] and a friendly against Chasetown on 10 July. The first league game was played on 8 August 2009, a 4–0 win for Cardiff against Scunthorpe United.

UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers

Wales played at the Cardiff City Stadium for the first time on 14 November 2009 against Scotland, which they won 3–0. On 10 August 2010, the Football Association of Wales announced that it would also play at the Stadium in Wales' opening game of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria on 8 October 2010.[37]

Sport venue

On 19 September 2007 it was announced that Cardiff City F.C. and Cardiff Blues had signed a Heads of Terms agreement for Cardiff Blues to become tenants of Cardiff City.[8] On 24 May 2008, the two clubs signed a contract officially finalising the deal. The license agreement was set at 20 years, meaning Cardiff Blues would leave Cardiff Arms Park and play their home games at the stadium until 2029.[38]


As well as being home to Cardiff City Football Club, Cardiff City Stadium also hosts a number of Wales national team's games.

List of Notable Football Matches

Wales' first game at Cardiff City Stadium was a 3-0 win over Scotland.

Date Competition Home Team Score Away Team
14 November 2009 Friendly Wales  3 – 0  Scotland
8 October 2010 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier Wales  0 – 1  Bulgaria
10 August 2011 Friendly Wales  1 – 2  Australia
2 September 2011 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier Wales  2 – 1  Montenegro
12 November 2011 Friendly Wales  4 – 1  Norway


Cardiff City Stadium was announced on Monday 6 December 2010 as host of the final of the 2010–11 Amlin Challenge Cup held on 20 May 2011 between Stade Français and Harlequins.

List of Notable Rugby Matches

Date Competition Home Team Score Away Team
20 May 2011 Amlin Challenge Cup final Harlequins England 19 – 18 France Stade Français

Concert venue

Stereophonics during Summer in the City

Stereophonics headlined the first gig at the stadium on 5 June 2010, having already played a record-breaking 13 previous sell-out shows at the Cardiff International Arena, as well as at the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle.[39] The concert, known as Summer in the City, was supported by Kids In Glass Houses and Doves.

Date Artist Support Acts
5 June 2010 Stereophonics Doves
Kids in Glass Houses


The stadium and surrounding area is served by Ninian Park railway station (on the Cardiff City Line) on one side of Sloper Road, by and Grangetown railway station (on the Vale of Glamorgan Line) on the other side.[40] Trains operate frequently to Central and Queen Street stations in the city centre.[41]

Cardiff Bus service 95 between Central Station and Barry Island stops outside the stadium.[42]

The stadium is next to Leckwith Interchange on the A4232 dual carriageway, linking it northbound to the A48 and M4 (J33 Cardiff West) and southbound to Cardiff Bay and the city centre.


On 17 December 2009, Cardiff City confirmed a statue of 1927 FA Cup-winning captain Fred Keenor would be built.[43]


  • Capacity: 26,828
  • Record Attendance: 26,058 vs Queens Park Rangers, 23 April 2011
  • Record attendance for a Cardiff City match: 26,058 vs Queens Park Rangers, 23 April 2011
  • First international game held: Wales vs Scotland, 14 November 2009.[44]

Average Attendances

Season Cardiff City Cardiff Blues[a]
Att. Division Pos. Att. Pos.
2009-10 19,127 Championship 4th 10,853 5th
2010-11 22,091 Championship 4th 6,542 6th
a ^ Cardiff Blues are always apart of the Magners League.

Match records

As of 5 November 2011

This is a record of all home games which have taken place at the Cardiff City Stadium

Team P W D L For[a] Against[b] Win %
Cardiff City 67 38 17 12 124 73 56.72%
Cardiff Blues 38 24 1 13 806 656 63.16%
Wales (football) 4 2 0 2 6 4 50.00%
a All competitive games are included for Cardiff City and Cardiff Blues clubs, for Wales all games are included.
b ^ All points scored for and against are included for Cardiff Blues.

See also


  1. ^ a b Cardiff City | News | Club News | Club News | CARDIFF CITY STADIUM: LOGO LAUNCH
  2. ^ Temporarily Unavailable
  3. ^ a b c STADIUM NEWS – Official Cardiff City F.C. Website
  4. ^ Cardiff City Stadium: Logo Launch
  5. ^ Cardiff Blues: New Landmark at Cardiff City Stadium[dead link]
  6. ^ WAG: First Minister visits new Cardiff dual code stadium
  7. ^ Cardiff Blues Fans Urged to Walk the Blue Mile[dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Cardiff teams agree ground share". BBC News. 19 September 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  9. ^ BBC News Celtic to open new Cardiff ground
  10. ^ Cardiff City 0–0 Celtic
  11. ^ "Hamman's stadium plan challenge". BBC News. 16 January 2002. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  12. ^ "Hammam scores stadium plan win". BBC News. 13 November 2002. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Tug-of-war over Cardiff stadia". BBC News. 28 May 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Traffic worries over stadium plan". BBC News. 13 August 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "Cardiff stadium gets green light". BBC News. 20 August 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Road clear for Bluebirds' stadium". BBC News. 9 September 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  17. ^ "Cardiff's stadium takes next step". BBC News. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Stadium retail plans held up". BBC News. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  19. ^ "Work on stadium 'to start in May'". BBC News. 20 January 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "Wigan complete Kavanagh signing". BBC News. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "Cardiff stadium work put on hold". BBC News. 1 March 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  22. ^ "Club's deadline over new stadium". BBC News. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "'Watershed' for city stadium deal". BBC News. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "Extra time for football stadium". BBC News. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "Cardiff set out new stadium plans". BBC News. 24 October 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "New boost for Bluebirds' stadium". BBC News. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  27. ^ "Cardiff reduce stadium capacity". BBC News. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  28. ^ | Cardiff director Borley put a figure on new stadium
  29. ^ a b "City ground 'delayed to May 2009'". BBC News. 7 September 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  30. ^ "Work starts on Bluebirds stadium". BBC News. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Final go-ahead for city stadium". BBC News. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  32. ^ Stadium Trivia | Official Stadium Website
  33. ^ Phillips, Terry SuperTed stadium? South Wales Echo – 19 July 2006
  34. ^ "Cardiff chief rejects debt claim". BBC News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  35. ^ WalesOnline - FootballNation - Football News - Bluebirds ground named ‘The Cardiff City Stadium’
  36. ^ Celtic to open new Cardiff ground, BBC Sport.
  37. ^ "WALES EURO OPENER @ CCS". (Cardiff City F.C.). 10 August 2010.,,10335~2117763,00.html. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  38. ^ CITY AND BLUES SIGN STADIUM CONTRACT | Cardiff City | News | Club News | Club News
  39. ^ WalesOnline - News - Cardiff News - Stereophonics confirm gig at Cardiff City Stadium
  40. ^
  41. ^ [1][dead link]
  42. ^ [2][dead link]
  43. ^ "Fans pick cup hero statue design". BBC News. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  44. ^ "Wales to play at New Stadium". (Cardiff City Football Club). 14 November 2009.,,10335~1818168,00.html. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 

External links

Preceded by
Stade Vélodrome
Amlin Challenge Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by

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