How the stadiums are shaping up

Posted On Sunday, 07 March 2010 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The centrepiece of the World Cup is complete but the outer perimeter, in the words of Danny Jordaan, is 'in the process of being beautified'.

2010The centrepiece of the World Cup is complete but the outer perimeter, in the words of Danny Jordaan, is “in the process of being beautified”. Trees will be planted and bricks laid around the stadium, enhancing its calabash shape and rustic exterior. Inside, the stadium is magnificent but while it might be friendly to the physically disabled, the seats are small — the obese will overflow onto neighbouring seats.

Ellis Park

The revamp is complete and although the nightmarish parking issues have been addressed, they haven’t entirely been resolved. Preparing the pitch to World Cup requirements has been a challenge — the stadium has, until recently, hosted Super 14 rugby. However, the surface should be ready for use in a few weeks. The new roof on the northern stand barely provides cover to those seated in the top tier and looks as if it has shrunk under budget constraints.

PRETORIA: Loftus Versfeld

Due to the Bulls’ Super 14 match against the Waratahs at the time of the countrywide inspection, this stadium was off limits to the media. The stadium was revamped well ahead of the World Cup but like Ellis Park, there have been concerns that the continued hosting of rugby matches could compromise the surface. The pitch has held up well thus far but if the Bulls and end up hosting a Super 14 semifinal and final, it could cause complications. Here, too, refurbishment included the erection of a roof that was hardly worth the effort.

RUSTENBURG: Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace

Compared with the interventions elsewhere, this stadium needed only a nip and tuck. Questions remain around the access road from Sun City and the training facility England will be using during the tournament. The road is expected to be completed by May 21, otherwise the MEC for transformation in the province has volunteered to resign.

Officials in the province have promised there will be enough beer to meet the expected huge demand from thirsty England supporters.

POLOKWANE: Peter Mokaba

This neat R1.3-billion facility incorporates the landscape in its design and uses materials with a proudly South African emphasis. Expansion is an option, especially on the open stand, where a roof can be erected.

The stadium has an intimate feel and, no matter where they are seated, spectators will feel close to the action.

NELSPRUIT: Mbombela Stadium

CRANE-like orange steel bars on the roof create the false impression that the stadium is perennially under construction. It was, however, completed well inside the deadline but the lack of grass on what is supposed to be the playing surface caused an uproar.

The grass will apparently be ready in seven to eight weeks. As a travel tip, fans are likely to require night-vision goggles when they exit the local airport en route to the car park.

BLOEMFONTEIN: Free State Stadium

This revamp of this stadium was also completed last year. The pitch is going to require some attention once the Cheetahs start playing their away games in the Super 14. Chunks of turf have been dug up by the rugby matches in recent matches. Bloemfontein boasts that it has established itself as an event hosting destination, but Bafana Bafana’s World Cup match against France will stretch the city’s hospitality industry.

CAPE TOWN: Cape Town Stadium

The most controversial structure yet commissioned in Cape Town, this stadium, although stunning inside, from an elevated position resembles an enormous bedpan on the Green Point Common. It is an impressive structure in all respects and will seat 70000 spectators before that capacity is reduced to a more functional 55000 after the Fifa showpiece.

It is a few kilometres from the nearest railway line, so ferrying people from and to their transport will provide an initial challenge.

PORT ELIZABETH: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

As has become the international norm for new stadiums, an industrial wasteland provided a fertile construction site. The stadium itself is a thing of beauty. The roof (which, during its construction, cost the stadium its hosting rights in the Confederations Cup) is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional as it extends 46m to cover a large part of the seating.

Its sunflower shape marvellously complements the 48000 red seats.

Floor space that will allow hospitality activity behind the top tier will be completed in two months.

DURBAN: Moses Mabhida Stadium

This facility is easily the country’s most impressive multipurpose stadium. Ambitiously built to host a World Cup and adorn the pages of an Olympic bid book, it boasts a roof made in Mexico and an arch that will attract adventure seekers.

Its sprawling nature means spectators are far removed from the playing surface. It claims to have the biggest big screen in Africa, although the tour guide felt the need to point to its exact location.


Last modified on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 21:26

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