The Cardiff City Stadium, known as Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd in Welsh, is located in the Leckwith district of Cardiff, Wales. It serves as the home ground for Cardiff City Football Club and the Wales national football team.
In July 2014, the Ninian Stand underwent expansion, increasing the stadium’s official seating capacity to accommodate 33,280 supporters. The stadium became the new home for Cardiff City in 2009, replacing the previous Ninian Park. Management of the stadium falls under Cardiff City Stadium Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Cardiff City Football Club Holdings Ltd. It also hosted home matches for the Cardiff Blues rugby union team until the 2011-12 season, despite their original lease being in effect until 2029.
Following the Millennium Stadium, it stands as the second-largest stadium in both Cardiff and Wales. The stadium is a component of the Leckwith development, which also encompasses the Cardiff International Sports Stadium. The naming rights for the stadium may be sold to a sponsor in the future. On July 22, 2009, the stadium was officially inaugurated with a friendly match between Cardiff City and Celtic.
The stadium, situated on the former Cardiff Athletics Stadium site, is a key component of the 60-acre Leckwith development, which was projected to cost £100 million and encompass:
- A 28,018-seat stadium
- Field dimensions: 100m x 68m
- Construction of a new athletics stadium, the Cardiff International Sports Stadium
- A 470,000 sq ft (44,000 m2) retail complex featuring 13 major retailers known as Capital Retail Park
- A housing development on the site where Ninian Park once stood
- A brand-new 70-room hotel complete with a bar and restaurant
- The implementation of a new road system
Following a summer player sale and significant changes, including the arrival of former Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale, the development faced a crucial 90-day period from December 31, 2005, as required by the Cardiff Council to solidify its business plan. On January 31, 2006, the developers successfully secured Asda as the primary retailer for the project, paving the way for the stadium’s funding to kickstart. This achievement prompted the council to extend its timeline by an additional four months, now targeting completion by September 2006.
The contract for developing the 30,000-seat stadium was awarded to Laing O’Rourke on October 24, 2006, with Ridsdale’s commitment to have it ready by December 2008. On November 27, 2006, Cardiff Council approved the stadium’s business plan and granted a 125-year lease for the land it would occupy, ensuring the necessary approvals from the council and the Deputy Prime Minister’s office.
In March 2007, alterations to the stadium plans allowed for expedited construction. To cut costs, the initial 30,000-seat capacity was reduced to 25,000 by removing three-quarters of the second tier seating. However, the design preserved the option to expand to the full 30,000 capacity if required. The former chairman of Cardiff City, Steve Borley, shared in March 2008 that they aimed to increase the capacity, then standing at 26,830, potentially reaching nearly 28,000 upon the stadium’s opening.
Though Peter Ridsdale had initially projected the stadium to be ready by Christmas 2008, it was eventually completed in May 2009. This slight delay was attributed not to Cardiff City’s legal disputes with Langston, as some believed, but rather to unexpected adverse weather conditions during the summer of 2007.
On June 14, 2012, Vincent Tan, the Malaysian co-owner of Cardiff City FC, unveiled a proposal for an extra £35 million investment in the Championship football club. This funding was earmarked for clearing existing debts, elevating the training facilities to meet Premier League standards, and facilitating a £12 million enhancement to the stadium’s seating capacity. This upgrade aimed to increase the seating from 26,828 to approximately 35,000.
On August 12, 2014, the stadium hosted the 2014 UEFA Super Cup, featuring a match between the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid, and the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League winners, Sevilla, with Real Madrid emerging victorious with a 2-0 win.
On June 1, 2017, the stadium was the venue for the final of the 2016-17 UEFA Women’s Champions League.
In March 2021, it was announced that Newport County would play two games at the Cardiff City Stadium due to poor pitch conditions at Rodney Parade.
On July 20, 2023, the stadium hosted a 2023-24 UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying match between Haverfordwest County and KF Shkëndija. After a 1-1 draw on aggregate, Haverfordwest advanced following a penalty shootout.