Loftus Versfeld is a sports stadium located in the Arcadia suburb of Pretoria, Tshwane, which has a capacity of more than 50 000 and is frequently used to host large-scale rugby and soccer matches. Loftus Versfeld is the home ground of Super Rugby and Absa Currie Cup giants the Blue Bulls and leading PSL football team Mamelodi Sundowns.
Loftus Versfeld Stadium is one of the oldest arenas in the country and sporting events have been held on this site since 1906. The ground was originally known as the Eastern Sports Ground and initially only had capacity for 2 000 spectators, although it was significantly expanded over the years. In 1932 the ground was renamed in honour of the then recently deceased Robert Owen Loftus Versfeld, a respected South African rugby player who was one of the founding members of the Pretoria Rugby Club and is credited with having introduced grass rugby playing fields to the area.
Over the decades the stadium has gone through numerous renovations and expansions, the most significant of which was made ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As one of the World Cup 2010 host stadiums, the seating capacity was increased to more than 50 000, a new roof was erected over the eastern pavilion, a new VIP seating area was built, and the stadium’s lighting and power systems were upgraded.
In addition to the FIFA World Cup in 2010, the stadium also hosted matches during the 1995 Rugby World Cup and was the venue for the second Test between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions during their tour of South Africa in June 2009.
In soccer circles Loftus Versfeld is perhaps best remembered as the place where the South African national team, Bafana Bafana, registered its first victory over European opposition by beating Sweden 1-0 in the 1999 Nelson Mandela Challenge.
Loftus Versfeld Stadium has not only been the venue for memorable sporting occasions – it has also hosted some of Gauteng’s most memorable concerts, including performances by international pop stars Robbie Williams and Celine Dion.
Take the N1 North highway towards Polokwane and take exit 145 toward M2/Pretoria. Merge onto the N4 and then continue into Pretorius Street. Turn left into Eastwood Street, which will lead you into Kirkness Street.