Cardiff City Stadium

Cardiff City Stadium
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
Owner Cardiff City F.C.
Operator Cardiff City Stadium Ltd
Capacity 33,280[1]
Surface Desso GrassMaster
Broke ground September 2007
Opened 22 July 2009
Construction cost £48 million
Architect Arup Associates
Cardiff Blues (2009–2012)
Cardiff City F.C. (2009–)
Wales national football team

The Cardiff City Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd) is a football stadium in the Leckwith area of Cardiff, Wales. It is the home of Cardiff City Football Club and the Wales national football team.

Following expansion of the Ninian Stand in July, 2014; the stadium now officially holds 33,280 supporters - meaning that it is the 24th largest stadium in the United Kingdom in terms of capacity. The stadium replaced Ninian Park as Cardiff City's home ground in 2009, and is managed by Cardiff City Stadium Ltd., which is owned by Cardiff City Football Club Holdings Ltd. It also hosted the home matches of the Cardiff Blues rugby union team until the 2011–12 season, although originally the Blues had a lease until 2029.[2][3][4][5][6]

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 are sold. The stadium was officially opened on 22 July 2009, with Cardiff City playing a friendly match against Celtic.[7][8]


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 was estimated to cost £100m and include construction of the following:

Inside Cardiff City Stadium


Background to construction

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.[10] In November 2002 the club and Cardiff Council signed an outline agreement for the development, subject to later agreement for outline planning permission.[11]

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 stadia in the Welsh capital.[12] This was increased in light of Cardiff City's promotion to the Championship in May 2003 with local fears over traffic and access problems.[13]

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.[14] On 9 September 2003 the Welsh Assembly gave approval to the plan.[15]

In April 2004, Cardiff Council gave the first phase covering the stadium with a capacity of 30,000 seats and new athletics track approval.[16] The next phase was held up by various legal and technical delays from November 2004[17] to January 2005, when the council gave approval to three detailed plans for the retail development, subject to agreement of suitable underlying business plans.[18]

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.[19] On 1 March 2005 the club delayed the development until at least July 2005.[20]

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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] This allowed the council timetable to extend by four months to September 2006.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26] 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."[27]

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.[28]

Stadium construction

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,[29] while on 9 May, final finances were put in place for Laing O'Rourke to bring equipment on site and start construction.[30]

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.[28]

Detailed timetable

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.[32] 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.[33][34]

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, which ended in a 0-0 draw.[35][36] There were two games played in the stadium prior to this: a Cardiff City Legends game on 4 July,[9] 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.

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]

On 8 May 2012, Cardiff Blues confirmed they would leave the Stadium to return to Cardiff Arms Park for the 2012–13 season and onwards.[38]

Stadium expansion

The Ninian Stand new development 18 April 2014

On 14 June 2012 Vincent Tan, Malaysian co-owner of Cardiff City FC, set out plans for an additional £35m investment in the Championship football club. This investment is to pay off debts, upgrade the training facilities to Premier League standards and spend £12m upgrading the stadium's capacity by 8,000 seats from 26,828 to around 35,000. The stadium can also be upgraded again to 60,000 seats but this won't happen unless Cardiff become a big European club. The stand(s) that will be upgraded have not been announced yet but it will likely be the Ninian stand and possibly another, as there are only private boxes available on the grandstand. It is possible more than one stand could be upgraded in order to reduce the impact of one tall stand.[39] On 1 August, Peter's Pie became the official sponsor of the Family Stand on a two-year deal.[40] In April 2013 it was announced by a Cardiff City director that the capacity at the stadium could be expanded to 35,000 before the beginning of the 2014/15 season.[41]

Extra seats were added around the stadium during the first few months of the 2013–14 season, increasing the capacity to around 28,000.

In August 2013 the club announced it had submitted a planning application to the local authority for the first phase of a stadium expansion.[42] Phase 1 will entail adding a second tier to the Ninian Stand increasing the capacity to approximately 33,280. 5,150 extra seats are to be provided, including extra commercial and hospitality facilities catering for around 1500.

On October 9, 2013 the local authority granted planning permission for this first phase.[43] The stadium expansion was completed at the beginning of August, a few weeks before the stadium was due to host the UEFA Super Cup. At a later stage, phases 2 and 3 of the development will see up to 3,000 seats added to both the Canton and Grange ends of the ground, bringing the overall capacity up to around 38,000.

However, in March 2015, it was announced that the Ninian Stand extension was to be shut for the 2015–16 season due to poor ticket sales, dropping the capacity to 27,978.[44]

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.[6] On 24 May 2008, the two clubs signed a contract officially finalising the deal. The licence agreement was set at 20 years, meaning Cardiff Blues would leave Cardiff Arms Park and play their home games at the stadium until 2029.[2]


As well as being the new home for Cardiff City, the stadium has since become the home of the Wales national football team except for the international friendly against Luxembourg which was at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, two UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G home matches with the first against England which was at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the second against Switzerland which was at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, an international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina which was at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, another international friendly, which was against Austria and a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group A match against Croatia, both of which were at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

On August 12, 2014, the stadium hosted the 2014 UEFA Super Cup between the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid and the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla CF. Real Madrid won 2–0.[45]


Between the 2009–10 season and the 2011–12 season, it was the home of the Cardiff Blues. The Blues left after the 2011–12 season, after a mutual agreement to return to the Arms Park was agreed.The Cardiff City stadium also hosted the 2010–11 Amlin Challenge Cup final between English club Harlequins and French club Stade Français on May 20, 2011 with Harlequins pipping Stade Français 19–18.

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.[46] The concert, known as Summer in the City, was supported by Kids In Glass Houses and Doves.

Date Artist Tour/Concert Support Acts
5 June 2010StereophonicsSummer in the CityDoves
Kids in Glass Houses
12 June 2013Bon JoviBecause We Can: The TourKids in Glass Houses
4 June 2016StereophonicsKeep the Summer AliveThe Vaccines
Band of Skulls
11 June 2016Rod StewartHits 2016The Mariarchis
The Sisterhood[47]


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.[48] Trains operate frequently to Central and Queen Street stations in the city centre.[49]

Cardiff Bus service 95 between Central Station and Barry Island stops outside the stadium.[50]

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.

There is limited parking at the stadium itself. Some spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, however most are pre-allocated to Season Ticket Holders.


Fred Keenor statue outside the Stadium.

On 17 December 2009, Cardiff City confirmed a statue of 1927 FA Cup-winning captain Fred Keenor would be built.[51] In May 2012, the £85,000 needed to build the statue was raised by the Cardiff City Supporters Trust and was revealed on 10 November 2012.[52][53]


Average Attendances

Season Cardiff City Cardiff Blues[a]
Att. Division Pos. Att. Pos.
2009–10 20,717[56]Championship4th 10,8535th
2010–11 23,193[57]Championship4th 6,5426th
2011–12 22,100[58] Championship6th 6,9277th
2012–13 22,998[59]Championship1st
2013–14 27,429[60]Premier League20th
2014–15 21,123[61] Championship11th
2015–16 16,255[62] Championship8th
a ^ Cardiff Blues are always part of the Pro12.

Match records

As of 28 November 2015

The "Cardiff City Total" games column contains all competitive games, including all league games, including play-offs; as well as cup competitions such as The F.A. Cup and The Football League Cup. There is a separate column recording all competitive home league games which have taken place at the Cardiff City Stadium.

TeamPWDLFor[a]Against[b]Win %
Cardiff City (League) 14370393421516048.95%
Cardiff City (Total) 16282394124618950.62%
Cardiff Blues 4929119106091359.18%
Wales (football) 17935231352.94%
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.
c Cardiff Blues left the stadium in 2012.

See also


  1. "Stadium Visitors". Cardiff City F.C. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 "CITY AND BLUES SIGN STADIUM CONTRACT". Cardiff City. Archived from the original on 5 November 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  3. Cardiff Blues: New Landmark at Cardiff City Stadium
  4. WAG: First Minister visits new Cardiff dual code stadium
  5. Cardiff Blues Fans Urged to Walk the Blue Mile Archived 15 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. 1 2 "Cardiff teams agree ground share". BBC News. 19 September 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  7. BBC News Celtic to open new Cardiff ground
  8. Cardiff City 0–0 Celtic
  9. 1 2 STADIUM NEWS – Official Cardiff City F.C. Website
  10. "Hamman's stadium plan challenge". BBC News. 16 January 2002. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  11. "Hammam scores stadium plan win". BBC News. 13 November 2002. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  12. "Tug-of-war over Cardiff stadia". BBC News. 28 May 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  13. "Traffic worries over stadium plan". BBC News. 13 August 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  14. "Cardiff stadium gets green light". BBC News. 20 August 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  15. "Road clear for Bluebirds' stadium". BBC News. 9 September 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  16. "Cardiff's stadium takes next step". BBC News. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  17. "Stadium retail plans held up". BBC News. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  18. "Work on stadium 'to start in May'". BBC News. 20 January 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  19. "Wigan complete Kavanagh signing". BBC News. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  20. 1 2 "Cardiff stadium work put on hold". BBC News. 1 March 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  21. "Club's deadline over new stadium". BBC News. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  22. "'Watershed' for city stadium deal". BBC News. 31 January 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  23. "Extra time for football stadium". BBC News. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  24. "Cardiff set out new stadium plans". BBC News. 24 October 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  25. 1 2 "New boost for Bluebirds' stadium". BBC News. 27 November 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  26. "Cardiff reduce stadium capacity". BBC News. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  27. | Cardiff director Borley put a figure on new stadium
  28. 1 2 "City ground 'delayed to May 2009'". BBC News. 7 September 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  29. "Work starts on Bluebirds stadium". BBC News. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  30. "Final go-ahead for city stadium". BBC News. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  31. Stadium Trivia | Official Stadium Website Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. "Cardiff chief rejects debt claim". BBC News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  33. "CARDIFF CITY STADIUM: LOGO LAUNCH". Cardiff City FC. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  34. WalesOnline – FootballNation – Football News – Bluebirds ground named ‘The Cardiff City Stadium’
  35. Celtic to open new Cardiff ground, BBC Sport.
  36. "WALES EURO OPENER @ CCS". Cardiff City F.C. 10 August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  37. "Cardiff City & Blues Agreement". Cardiff City Football Club Official Site. 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  38. "Cardiff City's Malaysian owners outline £100m investment plan". BBC Sport. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  39. "Peter's Pie score City family deal". Cardiff City F.C. Official Site. 1 August 2012. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  40. "Cardiff City could see stadium expanded to 35,000 seats by 2014/5 season". Wales Online. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  41. "Stadium Phase One Development". Cardiff City Football Club. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  42. "Cardiff City Stadium expansion given green light". Wales Online. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  43. "Cardiff City's new £12m Ninian Stand to be mothballed less than a year after opening". Wales Online. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  44. "Cardiff City Stadium will play host to UEFA Super Cup in 2014". Daily Mail. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  45. WalesOnline – News – Cardiff News – Stereophonics confirm gig at Cardiff City Stadium
  46. WalesOnline – Everything you need to know about Rod Stewart’s gig at Cardiff City Stadium
  48. (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  49. (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  50. "Fans pick cup hero statue design". BBC News. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  51. "Cardiff City fans get first glimpse of 9ft Fred Keenor statue". South Wales Echo. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  52. "A tribute to Cardiff City legend Fred Keenor". South Wales Echo. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  53. Cardiff City 2-1 Derby County BBC Sport, 2 April 2016
  54. "Wales to play at New Stadium". Cardiff City Football Club. 14 November 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  55. 2009–10 average attendance Cardiff City
  56. 2010–11 average attendance Cardiff City
  57. 2011–12 average attendance Cardiff City
  58. 2012-13 average attendance Cardiff City Archived 7 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  59. "Premier League Attendances 2013/14". Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  60. 2014–15 average attendance Cardiff City
  61. 2015–16 average attendance Cardiff City
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cardiff City Stadium.
Preceded by
Stade Vélodrome
Amlin Challenge Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Twickenham Stoop
Preceded by
Eden Arena
UEFA Super Cup
Host Venue

Succeeded by
Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena
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