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Where does the Wales National Team play?

Since Wales’ first home international football match against Scotland in 1877, they have played at various venues across the country.

The first match was contested at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, making it the oldest international football ground still used.

Find out the other stadiums that the Wales national team have played their home matches at here.

The origins of the Wales National Team – The Racecourse Ground

As already mentioned, the Racecourse Ground was the original home for the Wales national team back in the 19th century.

The majority of the games played from 1877 to 1890 at the Racecourse Ground were played against teams from the home nations, as they attracted bigger attendances. Wales’ first win on home soil was a 7-1 victory against Ireland on February 25, 1882. John Price scored four goals for the Red Dragons in this fixture.

From 1890, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) began to hold Wales home matches at different stadiums as well as the Racecourse. Other venues that hosted Wales matches, included the Old Racecourse, Penrhyn Park, and St. Helen’s Rugby and Cricket Ground.

However, the Racecourse Ground has continued to hold Wales matches, albeit less frequently, since. This includes the most recently played match at the stadium on October 11, 2023, against Gibraltar in a friendly, which saw Wales comfortably win 4-0.

Wales National Team
Wales' Charlie Savage shoots towards goal during the international friendly match at the SToK Racecourse, Wrexham. Picture date: Wednesday October 11, 2023. – Photo by Icon sport

Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground has hosted 95 Wales national team matches, which is more than any other stadium.

Increased attendances at Ninian Park

On March 6, 1911, Ninian Park became the second primary venue for Wales national team home matches, alongside the Racecourse Ground.

The visit of England on September 29, 1934, at Ninian Park saw over 50,000 spectators attend, which was the first time this had happened for a Wales home match. In fact, the highest attendance ever at Ninian Park was achieved in 1959, when 62,634 people watched Wales take on England.

From 1960 until 1989, Ninian Park was the main venue for Wales home matches due to the high attendance numbers that could be held at the ground. This changed in the late 1970s, when increased stadium safety regulations meant the capacity of the stadium was reduced.

As a result, Anfield held a Welsh home match in 1977, ahead of Ninian Park and the Racecourse Ground, as the grounds were not compliant with the new regulations.

The first all-seater stadium to host a Wales match – National Stadium

From 1989 to 2000, the National Stadium became the main venue for Wales home matches. The National Stadium was an all-seater stadium, which was the first of its kind to host an international match in Britain on May 31, 1989, when Wales drew 0-0 with Germany.

There were home games played at Ninian Park and Anfield in this period. Due to the decrease in capacity of the National Stadium, there were concerns from the FAW and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) over the feasibility of redeveloping the National Stadium. The ground was then demolished in 1997, resulting in the building of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which opened in 1999 at a construction cost of £121 million.

Record attendances at Millennium Stadium

The first international match at the Millennium Stadium – now named Principality Stadium – was the highest attendance ever for a Wales home match. Wales played Finland on March 29, 2000, in front of 65,614 people. A friendly against Brazil only two months later saw over 70,000 spectators attend.

Up until 2009, every Wales home match was held at the Millennium Stadium. However, some home qualification matches for UEFA Euro 2012 were played at the Cardiff City Stadium. After this qualifying campaign, the Millennium Stadium was replaced by the Cardiff City Stadium as the primary venue for Wales home matches.

The last Wales match to be played at the Millennium Stadium was a 4-1 defeat to Spain in a friendly on October 11, 2018.

The current home – Cardiff City Stadium

Since the early 2010s, the Cardiff City Stadium has been the main venue for Wales home matches. The atmosphere created at this stadium was a big reason for Wales’ qualification for UEFA Euro 2016, which was their first major tournament appearance since 1958.

Wales National Team
Wales reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 – Photo : PA Images / Icon Sport

The next Wales match to be held at the stadium is the visit of Finland in the UEFA Euro 2024 play-off semi-final.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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