FIFA World Cup Venues Guide

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After more than six years of planning, Africa's first–ever FIFA World Cup finished on 11 July 2010 in the spectacular surroundings of Johannesburg's Soccer City with Spain triumphing over Holland.

Organisers splashed out in the region of $1. 12bn on developing the 10 stadia that graced the world's television screens over the period of the tournament with five new facilities rising from the ground and another five undergoing various levels of redevelopment. The Sport Briefing followed the progress of the key venues over the past three years by speaking to those that matter on the ground in South Africa. Here is its guide to the football citadels of South Africa 2010. SOCCER CITYCity: JohannesburgMatches: June 11 – South Africa v Mexico; June 14 – Holland v Denmark; June 17 – Argentina v South Korea; June 20 – Brazil v Ivory Coast; June 23 – Ghana v Germany; June 27 – last 16 match; July 2 – quarter–final; July 11 – final. Capacity for World Cup: 94, 700Located in the south–west of the city, the stadium's capacity has been raised from 80, 000 for the tournament at a cost of $424m. Built in 1987, it hosted the 1996 African Nations Cup final in which South Africa beat Tunisia. The new–look Soccer City is set to provide a suitably striking and dramatic backdrop to FIFA's showpiece event. Boogertman Urban Edge + Partners' project principal Bob Van Bebber told The Sport Briefing in September 2007:"The work we are doing is an upgrade of the existing Soccer City venue. Starting with the space it occupies, area–wise the stadium pot is 300 metres in diameter and 47 meters high. The capacity of the stadium will be approximately 90, 000 and the design is based on an African pot or calabash representing the fact that the World Cup is seen as an African World Cup, and not just South African. The pot is the most striking feature which also has a PTFE membrane roof added to it. "Looking at facilities, the stadium will have new changing rooms, new VIP areas including a restaurant and coffee shop as well as museum space. There will be new stadium management offices added within the structure on the western side, new basement parking for VIPs, a new 180–seat auditorium, a new central kitchen, new suites on two levels, eight pedestrian access ramps within the pot structure, a large podium allowing access all around the stadium inside and outside of the turnstile line which is defined by a 'pit of fire', which is the roof structure above the turnstile line. "ELLIS PARK STADIUMCity: JohannesburgMatches: June 12 – Argentina v Nigeria; June 15 – Brazil v North Korea; June 18 – Slovenia v USA; June 21 – Spain v Honduras; June 24 – Slovakia v Italy; June 28 – last 16 match; July 3 – quarter–final. Capacity for World Cup: 62, 000The home of domestic Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Orlando Pirates, Ellis Park's capacity was raised to 62, 000 before the 2009 Confederations Cup at a cost of $64m. First built in 1928 as a rugby union stadium, and then demolished and rebuilt in 1982, it hosted the Rugby World Cup final in 1995, which South Africa won. The stadium will revert back to its original moniker with its naming rights deal with Coca–Cola removed for the World Cup. Lead architect, Wynand Du Plessis of DBM Architects, told The Sport Briefing in July 2007:" Being in an urban environment, space was always a problem as we have to watch how much and where we are extending. We don't have the luxury of some other stadia, who may be in rural areas and with plenty of space. The Ellis Park tragedy – the country's biggest ever stadium disaster which claimed 42 lives in 2001 – was also in our minds while planning and we had to make sure nothing like that would happen again. Therefore, with spectators in mind, an evacuation tunnel has been designed on the north–east corner of the stadium. " Fundamentally, there is not that much wrong with Ellis Park, but we have the opportunity now to bring it completely up to date and our vision for that is to make it as safe, convenient and practical as possible for everyone visiting and making sure that it is of absolute world–class standard, meeting FIFA regulations. " GREEN POINT STADIUMCity: Cape TownMatches: June 11 – Uruguay v France; June 14 – Italy v Paraguay; June 18 – England v Algeria; June 21 – Portugal v North Korea; June 24 – Cameroon v Holland; June 29 – last 16 match; July 3 – quarter–final; July 6 – semi–final. Capacity for World Cup: 70, 000The newly–built Green Point Stadium, close to the ocean and mountains of Cape Town, will stage eight matches in the spectacular shadow of Table Mountain. Green Point cost an estimated $350m and is also going to be used to stage major events and concerts. The new stadium has been partly built on land that was previously used as a golf course. Dave Hugo, Director 2010: Technical, for the City of Cape Town, told The Sport Briefing in November 2008:"This stadium has been specifically designed taking into consideration the very sensitive environment it's situated in. For instance, it does not try and compete with the flat table–top of Table Mountain. It is a curved roof, a double hexagonal, just like a double saddle–back roof with free flow which floats on Greenpoint Common. It's a completely new 68, 000–seat stadium, which will be reduced in capacity post–World Cup to 55, 000. Work on the site commenced in late March 2007 and planning preceded that by a year, meaning it was a very, very short timeframe. It's a fully FIFA–compliant stadium, comprising seven levels, five of which are being constructed fully at this stage. Levels six and seven will be fitted by the operator to his requirements. "The stadium is being built on the Greenpoint Common, which is in a very environmentally sensitive area, so we've had to do an environmental impact assessment and we are also paying a ministerial record of decision for that. With this assessment comes some very strict conditions to be applied and these relate to the form of the structure, the height of the structure, the noise generation and the usage. Looking at transport, Greenpoint is on a peninsula and the plan for major events, which includes the World Cup, is to utilise public transport. So the government will be investing in upgrading the public transport in Cape Town to be left as a legacy. So here you look at the rail links, the airport upgrade and the bus–rapid transport system. "MOSES MABHIDA STADIUMCity: DurbanMatches: June 13 – Germany v Australia; June 16 – Spain v Switzerland; June 19 – Holland v Japan; June 22 – Nigeria v South Korea; June 25 – Portugal v Brazil; June 28 – last 16; July 7 – semi–final. Capacity for World Cup: 70, 000Another newly–built arena, constructed on the site of the old Kings Park soccer ground, the $397m Moses Mabhida Stadium is just a few hundred yards from the Indian Ocean. Like London's Wembley, the stadium boasts a distinctive grand arch, which features a cable car and viewing deck. Looking ahead, it will form part of the city's plan to compete for international sports events like the Commonwealth Games or even the Olympics. Lead project manager Alf Oschatz, from BKS (Pty) Ltd, told The Sport Briefing in March 2008:" The stadium will have 54, 000 seats on a permanent basis, but for 2010, additional de–mountable seats will be available, increasing capacity up to 70, 000. It will offer about 6, 000 square metres of retail space that can be used outside the secure areas of the stadium. There will be various restaurant and hospitality areas inside the stadium bowl, as well as retail areas, a museum and a cable car to the top of the stadium arch at Imbizo Place – a park–like area around the retail facility for informal use during event days. This, together with Peoples Park – a 10–hectare landscaped public park area that includes sports fields for public use and Heroes' Walk, a mapped–out walk from the city centre, which will illustrate African and South African sports history – will create a lively atmosphere around the stadium even on non–match days. " The stadium will have two main design features. The first is the prominent design of a steel arch that spans the entire stadium and forms the support for the shaping of the membrane roof that covers 80% of the seats in the ground. The second is the sloping facade that wraps around the stadium. This facade will have a 60% transparency to it and is constantly changing as you travel around the venue, as the facade is curved, offering spectacular visuals from both inside and out. An amphitheatre at the northern arch base offers opportunities for small concerts and is also the starting point for the cable car that will take visitors up to the viewing deck on the top of the arch, 100 metres above pitch level, with 360 degree views. A single arch footing on the northern side symbolises the unity that sport brings to the nation and is the link to the rest of the sport precinct. The approach from the southern side is dramatised by the two arches spanning over the window, which have solid base facades that have been kept simple and elegant in design. "NELSON MANDELA BAY STADIUMCity: Nelson Mandela Bay/Port ElizabethMatches: June 12 – South Korea v Greece; June 15 – Ivory Coast v Portugal; June 18 – Germany v Serbia; June 21 – Chile v Switzerland; June 23 – Slovenia v England; June 26 – last 16 match; July 2 – quarter–final; July 10 – third–place play–off. Capacity for World Cup: 48, 000Completed in time for the 2009 Lions rugby union tour, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is a state–of–the–art, multi–purpose ground. It will host eight matches at the World Cup and was built especially for the tournament at a cost of approximately $271m. The facility suffered the disappointment of being dropped as a 2009 Confederations Cup venue amid concerns over progress of development. However its completion date of June 2009 ultimately made it the first newly–built stadium to open its doors. Errol Heynes, 2010 executive director for Port Elizabeth/Nelson Mandela Bay municipality told The Sport Briefing in August 2008:"The most striking feature is the roof, while the location is also very striking because it's one of the few stadiums in the world located next to a fresh water lake, which is around four times the size of the stadium and situated on the western side. Towards the east, we have the seaboard which is approximately one kilometre away. We are putting in 48, 000 seats for the World Cup, but this will be reduced to around 44, 000 thereafter for legacy purposes. "In our opinion, the stadium is not only about the square in the middle, but also about the economic opportunities that can be extracted from the building itself and also the investment into a precinct. We see that investment into that precinct as the stimulus for further investment into an area which we consider to be a new economic opportunity for the metro. "MBOMBELA STADIUMCity: NelspruitMatches: June 16 – Honduras v Chile; June 20 – Italy v New Zealand; June 23 – Australia v Serbia; June 25 – North Korea v Ivory Coast. Capacity for World Cup: 46, 000Another newly–built venue for the World Cup, the Mbombela Stadium, about seven kilometres north of Nelspruit, is situated close to the world–famous Kruger National Park, with the local wildlife acting as an inspiration for its design. Of the five new stadia for the World Cup, Mbombela is the only that has been wholly South African–designed. With a price tag of $143m, it will boast the lowest per–seat cost of any new World Cup venue, along with the closest seats to the pitch. Mike Bell, a partner with R&L Architects, told The Sport Briefing in March 2010:"The stadium's 18 roof supports echo the form of the giraffe, while the seats are patterned in zebra stripes. The roof floats free above the stadium bowl to ventilate in hot weather and avoid a dark seating bowl. The stadium has taken inspiration from Kruger National Park as the tallest wild animal, the giraffe, is the signature feature of the design. This icon will be the visual image spectators take away with them. "The word bulletproof was applied to the process of selecting and designing the finishes and fitting. Vandalism is a big factor in stadia and Mbombela should stand up well to abuse. Multiple uses outside soccer and rugby are incorporated into its design to broaden its use. The roof, along with the one in Cape Town, provides the greatest percentage of seats under cover. This will provide the greatest comfort to spectators and heighten the atmosphere of events held. The stadium will be a catalyst for improvement of the city and immediate suburbs. It will be a world–class facility for a local soccer and rugby franchises. "LOFTUS VERSFELD STADIUMCity: Tshwane/PretoriaMatches: June 13 – Serbia v Ghana; June 16 – South Africa v Uruguay; June 19 – Cameroon v Denmark; June 23 – USA v Algeria; June 25 – Chile v Spain; June 29 – last 16 match. Capacity for World Cup: 50, 000One of the oldest stadia in South Africa, construction began on Loftus Versfeld Stadium in 1923. It is home to Super 14 rugby union team the Blue Bulls and is a regular Springboks Test venue. Since 1948 it has undergone perennial upgrades, and only minimal development was undertaken to the likes of the floodlights, sound system, scoreboards and stadium roof in order for it to qualify as a World Cup venue. FREE STATE STADIUMCity: Mangaung/BloemfonteinMatches: June 14 – Japan v Cameroon; June 17 – Greece v Nigeria; June 20 – Slovakia v Paraguay; June 22 – France v South Africa; June 25 – Switzerland v Honduras; June 27 – last 16 match. Capacity for World Cup: 48, 000Upgraded from a capacity of 38, 000 for the World Cup, the Free State Stadium hosted Spain's shock defeat to USA in the 2009 Confederations Cup. It is opposite Bloemfontein's international cricket ground. Also known as Vodacom (sponsor) Park, the stadium is renowned for its vociferous atmosphere. The $32m redevelopment included the addition of a second tier to the main grandstand on the western side of the ground, along with the likes of new turnstiles, floodlights and electronic scoreboards. ROYAL BAFOKENG STADIUMCity: RustenburgMatches: June 12 – England v USA; June 15 – New Zealand v Slovakia; June 19 – Ghana v Australia; June 22 – Mexico v Uruguay; June 24 – Denmark v Japan; June 26 – last 16 match. Capacity for World Cup: 42, 000Originally built as a venue for the 1995 Rugby World Cup with a capacity of 38, 000, the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace underwent minor redevelopment costing in the region of $45m for the FIFA World Cup. It is an impressive bowl–shaped venue with very open seating. The Palace is named after the Bafokeng people who live in the area. In 1999, the Bafokeng won a legal battle, which entitled them to 20% on the platinum which is mined on their historical land. For the 2010 tournament, the main west stand was upgraded and enlarged and given a new cantilever roof among other improvements. PETER MOKABA STADIUMCity: PolokwaneMatches: June 13 – Algeria v Slovenia; June 17 – France v Mexico; June 22 – Greece v Argentina; June 24 – Paraguay v New Zealand. Capacity for World Cup: 46, 000Named after one of the leading figureheads of the emancipation of South Africa against the apartheid regime, the Peter Mokaba Stadium holds great historical significance in South Africa. A former leader of the ANC Youth League, Peter Mokaba was born in Polokwane. The design of the largely concrete stadium, which was built to replace the old facility, is inspired by the locally iconic Baobab tree. AFL Architects' sports director, John Roberts, told The Sport Briefing in January 2008:" We spoke to all of the parties and it was agreed that it would be a lot easier and cheaper to build a new stadium, and luckily, right next door to the athletics ground was a sizeable area of land designated for sports use. The emblem for the Limpopo region is the Baobab tree, and that has become the theme for the stadium. The stadium design has four big circulation towers in the corners of the ground to carry the roof structure and resemble the tree. " There is flexibility in the design, with a roof capable of being built to cover all four stands. One of the stands has to have a roof because of FIFA regulations, but for the other three, it's on a 'nice to have' basis. The actual structure of the stadium is very simple, and that is perhaps why our stadium is on schedule and others have suffered some delays. It was very important for us to try to avoid any major pitfalls, so the stadium is basically about repetition of simple structures. " About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comSubscribers to Major Events International can take advantage ofexcellent discounted rates for The Sport Briefing. Sign up now to receive a 20% discount on your annual licence for TheSport Briefing. Special rates are also available for company–widesubscriptions. Subscribers receive a daily digest or up to 30 stories from across every sector of the global sports industry, access to the 24–sevenwww. thesportbriefing. com website and a hard copy of the quarterlymagazine. For more information, email info@thesportbriefing. com or call +(0) 44 207 963 7888.

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