Sponsorships have come and gone, but Pretoria’s landmark Loftus Versfeld Stadium has resisted all attempts at name changes, and stubbornly remains good old Loftus. Some of the world’s entertainment greats, from Pavarotti to UB40, and Celine Dion to Robbie Williams, have graced the pitch, belting spectacular concerts out into the night, but first and foremost, Loftus is a sporting ground.

Did you know?

Loftus Versfeld is also the home ground of the celebrated Blue Bulls rugby team.

Loftus Versfeld Stadium is one of South Africa's most iconic sporting venues, with a history that dates back over a century. It was named after Robert Owen Loftus Versfeld, who was the founder of organised sports in Pretoria, but unlike some other sporting venues which have changed their names, this Pretoria stadium has clung on to its original name. Locals know it affectionately as just 'Loftus'.

Over the decades, it has undergone many upgrades − the last major one in readiness for the the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ when it hosted six matches, including the Round 16 match between Paraguay and Japan (Paraguay won 5-3 on penalties).

Some R90-million was spent on a new roof over its East Pavilion, new VIP seating, an upgraded lighting system and facilities for emergency power. New video boards, scoreboards, turnstiles and comprehensive media facilities were all installed as well as additional seats with a spectator capacity of 51 762.

Loftus Versfeld Stadium hosted both the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the African Cup of Nations in 1996. It was the field on which South Africa first won a soccer match against European opposition, namely Sweden, in 1999. It has hosted the 2013 Castle Rugby Championship, the 2013 ABSA Currie Cup Final, as well as numerous soccer and boxing matches.

To be at Loftus Versfeld, to hear the crowd roar as its teams take to the field, and the swell of thousands of proud voices singing South Africa's national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, is to share a quintessential experience of South Africa's sporting culture.

The seemingly stately city of Pretoria may be the political and diplomatic hub of Gauteng province, but Loftus Versfeld is the sporting heart of South Africa.

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