Kings Park, known for sponsorship reasons as Growthpoint Kings Park Stadium, lies in the Kings Park Sporting Precinct in Durban, South Africa. It may have had several sponsorship titles over the years, but as the home ground of The Sharks rugby team, no title is as famous or memorable as “The Shark Tankâ€.
The Shark Tank was officially opened in 1958 by Danie Craven, the President of SA Rugby Board, with a capacity crowd of 12 000. During the same year, the stadium underwent further developments, increasing its capacity to as many as 25 000 spectators. In 1976 the first renovations were done for a test between the All Blacks and Springboks, extending the stadium to a capacity of 44 000.
During the 1980s and 90s, Kings Park went through a series of extensive renovations. By 1995, in time for the Rugby World Cup, the stadium capacity reached 52 000. At present the stadium has a seating capacity of 52 500 with 350 private suites and a number of public bars. As well as being the home of The Sharks and various rugby teams like Duikers, Sharks XV, Sharks Under 19s, Under 21s, and the Sharks Academy, Kings Park is also the home ground of premiership soccer sides Thanda Royal Zulus and Golden Arrows.
The Shark Tank has a proud history and, for over 50 years, has hosted many memorable provincial and international events. The stadium held a number of games during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, including the semi-final between South Africa and France, with the Springboks winning 19-15 and securing their place in the final to win the nation's first ever Rugby World Cup trophy. With the construction of the new Moses Mabhida Stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup less than 200m away, the local government had hoped that the Sharks would have relocated. This is unlikely, however, as they have a 50-year lease on Kings Park that runs until 2056.