FMG Stadium Waikato has a long and rich history – here’s a summary of significant fixtures and developments made to the rugby ground since it was opened in 1925.

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Our history image

FMG Stadium Waikato has a long and rich history – here’s a summary of significant fixtures and developments made to the rugby ground since it was opened in 1925.

1925

Rugby Park (today as FMG Stadium Waikato) opened with a new stand 60 ft long

1929

Hot showers introduced to Rugby Park

1930

Waikato supplied 14 of 15 players of a combined side, which opposed Great Britain at Rugby Park.  Great Britain won 40-16 before a crowd of 13,000.  First radio broadcast of a match in Hamilton

1934

Rugby Park grandstand roof collapsed, no injuries

1937

South Africa visits Hamilton. Five Waikato players in a combined side, which lost 6-3.  A record crowd of 17,553 saw the match at Rugby Park

1956

Waikato vs. Springboks on 9 June, Waikato won 14 – 10. 31,000 in attendance.  Still considered one of the most memorable events at Rugby Park

1958

Rugby Park upgrade commenced

1959

Rugby Park new grandstand opened

1981

Springbok fiasco.  One of Rugby Park’s darkest days with tour match called off due to the pitch being invaded by the protesters

1987

Rugby Park hosted a World Cup match, Fiji v Argentina

1996

Rugby Park had been showing its age and had not had any international rugby since 1987.  It was decided that the city needed a new sports stadium to attract sports fixtures and events to the city.
The Waikato Regional Sports and Event Centre Trust formed and a grand design was commissioned which was based around the re-development of Rugby Park. Friends of the Stadium was formed.

2000

Construction of Waikato Stadium commenced

2002

Waikato Stadium opened with the first event being a Super 12 rugby match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders and was home to the All Blacks v Italy in June

2003

Summer Jam and the All Blacks v Wales.  The unveiling of the Whatanoa Gateway on 3 February

2004

Vodafone Warriors v The Dragons NRL, All Blacks v Argentina

2005

Lions v NZ Maori, Vodafone Warriors v Parramatta Eels NRL , WIPSCE Cultural Concert.  The unveiling of the Players Tunnel Carvings on 9 June

2006

Parramatta Eels v Vodafone Warriors NRL, All Blacks v Ireland, Habitat for Humanity

2007

Crusty Demons Kiwi Carnage Tour, All Blacks vs. Canada

2008

NZ Maori v Samoa, Mastercard All Blacks Roadshow, FIFA Under 17 Women's World Cup

2009

NRL Warriors v Melbourne Storm Pre Season Trial, Crusty Demons Tour, FIFA Under 17 Women's World Cup

2011

Nitro Circus Live at Waikato Stadium, RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011 (All Blacks v Japan, Wales v Samoa, Wales v Fiji)

2012

Super Rugby Competition at Waikato Stadium

2013

Retiring Hamilton City Councillor Peter Bos becomes Patron of the Stadium

2015

Naming rights partnership with FMG Advice & Insurance, FIFA U-20s World Cup

2016

New 73m2 big screen installed in partnership with Gallagher Chiefs 

2017

British & Irish Lions v Chiefs, Vodafone Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons full-season NRL match, Rugby League World Cup 2017 (Tonga v Samoa, Tonga v New Zealand)