The Kings Park Stadium is located in the Kings Park Sporting Precinct in Durban, South Africa, and is currently being used as the home ground of Cell C Sharks of the Sharks rugby union.
The stadium has also been used by the Durban Premier Soccer League Football clubs, and also for major football finals. Football has now been moved to the Moses Mabhida Stadium which was a major venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and is just 200 metres away from the Kings Park Stadium.
The stadium was built in 1958 with an original capacity of 12,000. It was previously known as the ABSA stadium due to sponsorship reasons and is currently known as the Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium for similar reasons.
It was renovated two times, once in the 1980s and once before the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The soccer stadium on the other hand was the home ground of the Manning Rangers, who played in the Premier Soccer League.
The stadium had a smaller capacity than its rugby counterpart with 35,000. The stadium has a deal running which keeps them on lease at the same stadium till 2056, and this is one of the reasons why the Sharks did not relocate after the demolition of the soccer stadium.
The Kings Park Stadium was renovated from 1993-1995 in order to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The stadium hosted three pool B games, one quarterfinal and one semifinal. The South African team, also known as the “Springboks”, beat France here at the semifinals and went on to win their first ever trophy.
In 1996, the stadium was one of the venues for the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations. It hosted three group matches, one quarter-final and one semifinal match.
One famous controversy of this stadium was the question of whether the club had to relocate or not after the demolition of the Kings Park Soccer Stadium.
The local government wanted the stadium to be demolished, but they had a 50-year lease running with the Sharks and cannot affect a demolition until 2056.
The Sharks had to stay put in order to protect their home stadium in spite of other parties urging that the stadium be removed from there. The stadium precinct is now used for other promotional events such as the soccer fan park and the PUMA School of Speed.
The Kings Park Stadium now is the home of the Sharks whose home games are played here in front of their massive number of fans. The Sharks are contenders for their next season as they look to improve their finish from last season where they finished as quarterfinalists.