|Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium|
|Location||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|Owner||Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality|
|Operator||Access Facilities and Leisure Management (Pty) Limited|
|Construction cost||R2.05 billion (US$270million)|
|Architect||Architectural Design Associates(Pty)Ltd & Dominic Bonnesse Architects cc|
|Field dimensions||Football - 105m X 68m
Rugby - 100m X 70m
|Bay United and Southern Kings both proposed|
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is a 48 000 seater stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The five-tier, R2 billion (approximately US$270million) Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was built overlooking the North End Lake, at the heart of the city. It is one of three coastal stadiums built in anticipation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It regularly hosts large scale football and rugby matches. The stadium has also been used as a concert venue.
This is the first time a world-class football stadium has been built in the Eastern Cape province. The city did not have a large scale football facility, as under the apartheid government, football was never given much funding. Football clubs in the city had to make use of smaller scale venues through out the city. Before this stadium was built, most large football matches were played at the EPRU Stadium, the city's rugby ground. The EPRU Stadium was often problematic for football, as it normally hosts rugby matches, thus the playing surface was not of a great standard. When Port Elizabeth was chosen as a host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the city decided against upgrading the EPRU Stadium. This was because it would have needed to be almost completely rebuilt, in order to be upgraded to FIFA requirements. The city then decided on building a brand new, multipurpose stadium, in the heart of the city.
Inevitably, there was a great deal of speculation about the status of stadium construction in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with the requirement that all the FIFA World Cup host stadiums must be completed by January 2010. The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was the first of five new stadiums to start construction. The other new stadiums are in Cape Town, Durban, Polokwane and Nelspruit.
The stadium has an eye-catching, unique roof-structure and a spectacular view, overlooking the North End Lake. The roof is made up of a series of white 'petals' making it look like a flower. This is the reason for the stadiums nickname: The Sunflower. There are not many stadiums in the world that are designed and constructed overlooking a lake; this in itself is a very distinctive feature of the Nelson Mandela Bay Multi-Purpose Stadium. The stadium building is approximately 40m high and consists of six levels on the western side in addition to five on each of the north, south and east stands.
The stadium seats 45 000 in addition to 4 000 extra seats, temporarily installed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The seats are of different shades from light orange to dark red. They are arranged seemingly at random, but this was done to help the stadium appear full at all times. It also means that sun damge is less of a problem and replaced seats are less noticeable. There are 23 private boxes with a planned additional 22 private boxes, including two bars, as part of the post World Cup building. The stadium also boasts 150 VIP suites, 60 business suites, a sports clothing shop, gymnasium, plus lecture and function rooms. There are also two conference rooms, which are able to accommodate 200 people, which are situated on the 5th level.
There are four ramps for easy wheelchair access, three VIP/VVIP lifts, two in the West Stand and one in the East Stand, as well as six passengers' lifts all around the stadium. Two additional lifts will be installed for the legacy phase. The stadium will have a total of 11 lifts. No escalators will be installed. There are 32 turnstiles and colour coded gates on level 2 for spectators to access their seats and four ramps leading up from level 2 to level 5.
Two big viewing screens (12.7m x 7.2m) were installed for live coverage of the activities on the field. There are a total of 74 toilet Blocks (Male and Female) - 36 Blocks on level 2 - 4 Blocks on level 3 - 14 Blocks on level 4 and 20 Blocks on level 5.
Parking inside the stadium is provided only on Level 1 and consists of Media Parking – 160 Bays, Broadcast – 80 Bays, VVIP Parking – 70 Bays, Special VVIP Parking – 12 Bays, VIP Parking – 32 Bays, Disable Parking – 4 Bays ,General Parking on Site – 1280 Bays.
The playing surface is made of natural grass, it was grown off site in the area of St Albans. The areas surrounding the pitch are made of artificial turf. The field that was originally laid was a mixture of kikuyu grass and rye grass. For the 2010 FIFA World Cup though, the field will be made up completely of rye grass.
The field was designed to be able to accomadte both football and rugby. The pitch is maintained by a group of 5 people, who work day and night to ensure the quality of the playing surface. The field is currently watered at 2am due to a severe drought and heatwave in the area. For football the field is marked at the FIFA approved dimensions of 105m by 68m. For rugby the field is marked at 100m long by 70m wide, it also has 2, 10m 'in-goal areas' behind each set of goal posts.
The stadium is located along the cities new BRT network. Currently, the dedicated lanes for the busses are being built. Once completed, the BRT busses will ferry people to and from the stadium during game days. The main bus station servicing the stadium will be located in Harrower Road. There will be routes to the stadium from the airport, fan park and the beach front. In addition to the BRT network, there will be a number of 'park and ride' areas. These will be located at King's Beach, St George's Park, Andrew Rabie High School and Greenacres Shopping Centre. There will also be a 'park and walk' from Cilliè High School. The North End train station is located about 1.3kms from the stadium.
While the network is still being built, the Algoa Bus Company has set up temporary bus stops in the surrounding streets. These are used on game days, to provide public transport until the completion of the BRT network.
Main article: 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup
The stadium was originally planned to be the only new stadium used in a five stadium Confederations Cup. The other four stadiums to be used were Ellis Park Stadium, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Royal Bafokeng Stadium and Free State Stadium. The four stadiums were already built and merely received upgrades for the Confederations Cup.
On July 8, 2008 it was announced that the stadium had been removed from the list of stadiums for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup as it was believed it would not be ready on time. Surprisingly, however, it became the first newly-built 2010 stadium to be completed.
Main article: 2010 FIFA World Cup
The stadium will host 8 games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament. It will host 5 group games, as well as a round of 16 game, a quarterfinal and the 3rd/4th playoff will be played at the stadium.
The stadium's games are:
|Date||Time (UTC+2)||Team #1||Res.||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|2010-06-12||13.30||South Korea||vs||Greece||Group B||–|
|2010-06-15||16.00||Cote d'Ivoire||vs||Portugal||Group G||–|
|2010-06-26||16.00||Winners of Group A||vs||Runners-up of Group B||Round of 16||–|
|2010-07-02||16.00||Winners of Match 54||vs||Winners of Match 54||Quarter Finals||–|
|2010-07-10||20.30||Losers of Match 61||vs||Losers of Match 62||3rd/4th Place Play-off||–|
On the 4th of July 2009, the stadium hosted the 2009 edition of the Premier's Cup. The teams contesting the cup were, Supersport United, Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic, and Bay United. 20 000 fans attended this event.
On the 23rd of July 2009, the stadium hosted a leg of the 2009 Vodacom Challenge. The match involved Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The 30 000 strong crowd watch Kaizer Chiefs win 4-3 on penalties, after the game ended 1-1. Kaizer Chiefs went on to face Manchester City in the final of the challenge.
On the 9th of August 2009, (Women's Day in South Africa) a special double-header of games was played. This along with female musical acts were performed to celebrate Women's Day. The first match involved two women's teams, Nelson Mandela Bay XI and Amatole Invitational XI, the second was between a Brazilian legends and South African legends team. The Brazilian legends were drawn form their 1994 FIFA World Cup winning squad. The South African team was drawn from the 1996 African Cup of Nations winners.
On the 14th of November 2009, the stadium hosted its first international football match. A friendly between Bafana Bafana and Japan was played at the stadium. A crowd of 44 000 watched as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
On the 20th of November 2009, the stadium hosted its first Premier Soccer League game. Santos 'hosted' Kaizer Chiefs at the stadium, as no venue was available in the Western Cape due to World Cup renovations. A large and vocal crowd of 20 000 was in attendance as Kaizer Chiefs won 1-0 in controversial fashion.
On the 28th February 2010, Orlando Pirates 'hosted' Gaborone United in the second leg of the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League. The game ended 2 all, with Gaborone United adavancing on the away goals rule. The match also serve as part of the stadiums offical opening ceremony. This included local music acts, a junior football match, and the unveiling of the stadiums offical plaque.
On the 16th of June 2009, (Youth Day in South Africa) the stadium played host to a British and Irish Lions tour match. The game was between the Lions and the newly launched Southern Kings. The game was attended by over 35 000 fans.
On the 19th of September 2009, the Eastern Province Mighty Elephants played their first ever Currie Cup First Division game at the stadium. They beat the Falcons 44 - 8. In addition, the province's U19 and U21 teams played each other in curtain raisers to the main match.
On the 23th of January 2010, the stadium hosted a Super 14 warm up match. The Cheetahs played an Eastern Province invitational team Eastern Province invitational team. In front of a crowd of 15 000, EP put on a great performance, losing 13 - 9 to the Cheetahs. A curtain raiser was played between 2 Port Elizabeth rugby clubs, Police and Progress.
On 26 February 2010, Eastern Province played the Pampas XV (an Argentine team), in the first round of the 2010 Vodacom Cup. The game ended in a 27 all draw, in front of a crowd of approximatley 8 700.
On the 6th of June 2009 an open day was held at the stadium for residents of the city to see the new venue, as well as serve as a trial run of the stadiums match readiness. The event was attended by government officials as well as 17 000 residents.
The stadium was to host its first concert on 29 November 2009. The 12 hour event was called the Bay Summer Concert, and was to feature Busta Rhymes, as well as other top acts. Despite all the needed arrangements being made, Busta Rhymes decided not to honour the event. Instead, he chose to do a concert at a local club. He arrived at the stadium hours late, and told those who had stayed, to go to the club that he would be performing at.
A second concert was planed for the stadium from 18 to 20 December 2009. It was billed as the 'Nelson Mandela Bay International Music Festival', and was to have such artists as Keri Hilson. Unfortunately, this concert was also cancelled due to lack of funds.
A group of South African churches will be holding a mass prayer around the stadium on 22 March 2010 (a public holiday due to Human Rights Day falling on a Sunday in 2010). They intend to create a chain of people, 1000m long, around the stadium and hold a 15 minute prayer at 16:00. They intend to pray for a blessing on both the stadium and World Cup.
After the World Cup the stadium may be used as the home ground for the Southern Kings if they are admitted to the Super 15. While Melbourne has been announced as the winner of the 15th franchise, the Southern Kings are now hoping to be included in the South African Conference.
Bay United may use the stadium if they return to the Premier Soccer League, however the club's chairman, Sipho Pityana has raised the concern of stadium rental being too high for the club to afford. In contrast, Nelson Mandela Bay SAFA regional president, Johnson Kula, has said that Bay United play a key role in the viability of the stadium.
|Location||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
The stadium will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Is one of the 10 stadiums where World Cup games will be played.
2010 World Cup Matches
|Date||Time||Group||Team #1||Team #2|
|Saturday, 12 June||13:30||Group B||Korea Republic||Greece|
|Tuesday, 15 June||16:00||Group G||Côte d'Ivoire||Portugal|
|Friday, 18 June||13:30||Group D||Germany||Serbia|
|Monday, 21 June||16:00||Group H||Chile||Switzerland|
|Wednesday, 23 June||16:00||Group C||Slovenia||England|
|Saturday, 26 June||16:00||Round of 16||1A||-||2B]]|
|Friday, 2 July||16:00||Quarter-finals||W53||-||W54]]|
|Saturday, 10 July||20:30||Match for third place||L61||-||L62]]|
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