Rumours that Cardiff’s Principality Stadium could be set to host a rematch between boxing heavyweights, Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko highlights the Welsh capital’s growing stature as a world renowned sporting hub.
For a city that’s home to less than a million people, Cardiff certainly punches well above its weight in the sporting world. On the domestic front, the Cardiff Devils celebrated the opening of the brand new Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay by winning the Elite Ice Hockey League title; their first British title in two decades.
In the shadows of the city’s famous castle sits another great sporting venue, Sophia Gardens; home of Glamorgan Cricket Club. Known as the Swalec Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the ground has become an international cricket venue, hosting World Cup games, several One Day Internationals, the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and the first Test in the 2015 Ashes Series.
Not long after the Cardiff City Stadium, home of the capital’s beloved Bluebirds, successfully hosted the 2014 European Super Cup was it confirmed that UEFA would use Cardiff’s iconic Principality Stadium would host the biggest game in club football, with the 2017 Champions League final set to bring European giants Real Madrid and Juventus to town next month.
The state-of-the art Principality Stadium was built in 1999 and quickly became one of the world’s great sporting venues. The idyllic location in a city centre full of bars and restaurants made it a great venue for fans attending whilst the retractable roof and 74,500 capacity made it an attractive option for some major sports promoters.
Built for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the Stadium has gone on to host a range of sporting events over the past two decades, including several FA Cup and League finals whilst the new Wembley Stadium was constructed, two Joe Calzaghe world title defences and the Speedway Grand Prix of Britain, not to mention seeing Wales achieve Six Nations Grand Slam success on three occasions since making it their permanent home.
With the news that the venue will host the opening game of next year’s Six Nations and the rumours of a potential super-fight between heavyweights Joshua and Klitschko, there is no doubting that Cardiff remains one of the world’s great sporting centres.