Home to who?
Also known as the Free State Stadium, Vodacom Park is not only used by Lions opposition the Free State Cheetahs, but also by the Super 14 outfit, the Central Cheetahs.
Soccer side Bloemfontein Celtic also play at the stadium, which will be one of the venues when South Africa becomes the first African nation to host the soccer World Cup in 2010.
More fans, more noise, more fun
Currently able to accommodate approximately 38,000 spectators, Vodacom Park will be undergoing substantial alterations prior to the 2009 Lions tour. A second tier will be added to the main grandstand on the western side of the ground, raising capacity to around 48,000 as the stadium prepares for what will be a high profile 12 months for South African sport. New turnstiles will be erected, floodlights will be upgraded, electronic scoreboards will be installed, and the sound system will be revamped, with CCTV and media facilities also due to be improved at a cost of R245 million (?15.4 million).
A little bit of history repeating (or at least rebuilding)
The first Free State Stadium was originally built in 1954, with Free State playing their first match at the venue two years later. When built, the stadium held permanent seats for 12,000 people, although a crowd of 72,771 witnessed the Second Test between the Springboks and the All Blacks in August 1976.
Renamed Vodacom Park prior to South Africa's clash with Wales in June 2002, the stadium as it is today was built between April 1994 and May 1995, after the original stadium was deemed no longer suitable for international matches.
Although not one of the three Test venues for the 2009 tour, Vodacom Park has a proud history of international representation. The 16 Tests hosted by the stadium have witnessed 12 Springbok victories, three loses and a single draw.
South Africa's most recent appearance at Vodacom Park featured a 43-17 mauling of 2007 Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales. Peter de Villiers' first game in charge saw the Springboks run in tries through Conrad Jantjes, Jean de Villiers, Pierre Spies and Percy Montgomery, with Butch James kicking 23 points in a convincing win.
The Lions have played two Tests at the ground, losing them both in 1962 and 1980.
Lions in Bloemfontein
P12 W8 D1 L3
Orange River County 16, Lions 17
Orange River County 9, Lions 12
Orange Free State 6, Lions 3
Orange Free State 6, Lions 21
* Junior Springboks 12, Lions 15
Orange Free State 14, Lions 14
South Africa 34, Lions 14 (4th Test)
Orange Free State 3, Lions 9
Orange Free State 9, Lions 11
Orange Free State 17, Lions 21
South Africa 26, Lions 19 (2nd Test)
Orange Free State 30, Lions 52
* This was the first game played at the Free State Stadium. After the two teams had taken to the field, the Administrator of the Free State, Jan Fouche, declared the stadium officially open. There were 30,000 fans at the game. Jeff Butterfield captain the Lions and the Junior Springboks were led by P Pelser.