Wellington Regional Stadium, also known as Westpac Stadium through naming rights, is a major sporting venue in Wellington, New Zealand. The stadium is shaped like a bowl and is also nicknamed as “The Cake Tin” and “The Ring of Fire”.
The stadium is owned and operated by the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust and has a capacity of 34,500 seats. The complete facility includes the New Zealand Institute of Sport, and the school for the Wellington Cricket Association.
The stadium’s location makes it difficult for major matches to be held here. The weather is turbulent, and it rains very often. The first international match itself was marred by heavy rains.
The construction of the Westpac Stadium began after decisions to replace the old rugby stadium, Athletic Park. The 102-year-old rugby stadium was replaced by the Westpac Stadium in 2000 when there were no proper venues for international cricket.
Fletcher Construction undertook a contract to build the stadium in 1999, with the help of architects Warren and Mahoney Populous. The stadium was built on unclaimed railway land, which was in surplus and was also not required.
The Westpac Stadium became quite famous since its inception in 2000 and has been a witness to a number of major tournaments and events since.
The stadium hosted its first ever Rugby World Cup in 2011, where eight games were played including two quarterfinals.
A total of 29 ODIs and seven T20 internationals have been played here when it comes to cricket. The first series held here was against West Indies, with the fourth match of the five-match series being held here.
The last ODI on this ground was played on 25 February 2017, between New Zealand and South Africa.
The stadium will host a T20 on 22 January 2018 between New Zealand and Pakistan. In February and March, the stadium is scheduled to host a T20 and ODI match against England.