Thursday 27 June 2013

Around the grounds: Cardiff City Stadium

In series on stadium histories series we look at Cardiff's home ground and memorable matches

  • The all-seater Cardiff City Stadium has a capacity of 26,828

  • Cardiff City moved to their new home in 2009

  • Ninian Park had been Cardiff's home for 99 years

Premierleague.com profiles all 20 Premier League venues.

In profile: Cardiff City Stadium

Capacity: 26,828
Year built: 2009
First league match: Cardiff City 4-0 Scunthorpe, 8 August 2009.

History

The all-seater Cardiff City Stadium became the home of Cardiff City three years ago, as the club left their Ninian Park home after 99 years.

Work began on the site of the old Cardiff Athletics Stadium in 2007, with the stadium opened in 2009 with a pre-season friendly between the Bluebirds and Celtic. Cardiff's first league match at their new home was marked with a 4-0 victory over Scunthorpe United, with Michael Chopra scoring the first goal.

The stadium’s capacity offers a significant increase on Ninian Park’s 21,508 and following Cardiff’s historic promotion to the Barclays Premier League, there are plans to increase the number of seats to over 30,000 by the start of the 2014/15 season.

The venue has hosted a number of Wales friendlies and European Championship and World Cup qualifiers while it also staged rugby union's Amlin Challenge Cup final in 2011.

It will be a special occasion when the stadium hosts its first Barclays Premier League match, which will be against the 2011/12 champions Manchester City on 24 August.

  • April 2013: Craig Bellamy salutes the crowd as Cardiff win promotion

  • Jan 2012: Craig Conway's fine strike gives Cardiff victory over Portsmouth

  • April 2010: Cardiff celebrate victory in the first South Wales derby at their new ground

Three of the best: League matches at the Cardiff City Stadium

3 April 2010: Cardiff City 2-1 Swansea City
The first South Wales derby held at the Cardiff City Stadium will live long in the memory for those of a Bluebirds persuasion. Cardiff had not tasted victory over their rivals since 1997 and had not claimed a home victory since 1993, so were desperate to end their bad run. It did not start well for them, however, as Andrea Orlandi's corner ended up in the back of the net. Michael Chopra equalised for Cardiff just before half-time, as he guided home from Jay Bothroyd's flick. The pulsating contest had one last twist as Chopra was on hand again to provide an incredible finale. With the match entering stoppage time, Chopra fired in from Aaron Wildig's pass to seal a dramatic victory.

21 January 2012: Cardiff 3-2 Portsmouth
Cardiff maintained their promotion challenge with a stunning come-from-behind victory over Portsmouth. Although Kenny Miller had given the home side the lead, Portsmouth went 2-1 ahead when Marko Futacs pounced on a dropped ball by David Marshall while Greg Halford scored from close range just after half-time. Cardiff skipper Mark Hudson headed the equaliser with 21 minutes to go and that seemed to be that as the match moved into the second minute of injury time. But Craig Conway was allowed space to deliver a fierce drive from distance that found the bottom corner.

16 April 2013: Cardiff City 0-0 Charlton
It may not have been pretty but this is the point that meant the world to Cardiff's fans as they ended their 51-year wait to return to the top flight. Goalkeeper David Marshall was the home hero, as he denied Ricardo Fuller while he also superbly tipped Johnnie Jackson's free-kick on to a post. Cardiff responded after the break with Andrew Taylor and Aron Gunnarsson having chances but Marshall produced a marvellous save to keep out Fuller's curling shot. Jordon Mutch did put the ball into the net for Cardiff with 21 minutes to go but the goal was ruled out for offside. The goal was not needed and, with Watford losing to Millwall, the final whistle was greeted with jubilant scenes in the Welsh capital.

The Cardiff support is crucial, says Mackay

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay after his side recorded a record-breaking 10th straight home victory with a win over Sheffield Wednesday in December: "They create an atmosphere that means teams come here and be tentative and I'm very happy about that. They are the 12th man."

For more information about the Cardiff City Stadium, click here >>

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks at the history of Cardiff's home ground, the Cardiff City Stadium
  • The venue was built in 2009 after the club's 99-year stay at Ninian Park
  • We pick out three of the best League matches at the ground