Soccer City: bring on 2010

22 October 2009

It took more than 3 000 construction workers nearly 10-million man hours to construct Soccer City stadium, which now stands almost complete and soon ready to open the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ on 11 June 2010.

More than 2 500 people who were part of this massive construction project gathered at the stadium just outside Soweto in Johannesburg on Wednesday to celebrate the roof wetting ceremony and to admire the work that went into the stadium, which will host eight matches during the World Cup, including both the opening and closing matches.

They were also celebrating a million injury-free man hours on the site.

Soccer City, which resembles an African calabash or traditional cooking pot, rivals some of the best stadiums in the world, believes Grinaker-LTA managing director Neil Cloete.

“While our initial bid was to complete Soccer City with a simple roof, the Organising Committee wanted a meaningful African design, and it is incredible to have witnessed the transformation of the site into what will be a landmark for the country and the continent at large,” Cloete said.

Mike Moody, Grinaker-LTA’s project director, said that building the stadium “required 90 000m³ of concrete, about 10 000 tons of reinforcement steel, nine-million bricks and 13 000 tons of structural steel.

“The structure has a double layer of fabric roof and required 32 400 fibre cement panels to complete the calabash-inspired design of the façade.”

While Soccer City will be seen as a triumph of the engineering prowess which exists in South Africa, for the thousands of workers who helped to build it, it will remain a monument to their hard work and contribution to the success of 2010.

“I think the people who come here to see it next year will be very impressed by the way it is designed and how it was built,” said David Khuswayo, a steel worker who worked on the stadium. “Everything about this stadium is of a very high quality.”

Every seat in the stadium has an unrestricted view of the pitch and the grounds, with the furthest seat 105 metres from the centre of the pitch. There are a total of 193 suites and roughly 2 700 seats dedicated solely to media; 860 parking bays and 77 concession kiosks are included within the grounds.

Particularly marked black seats form lines pointing in the direction of the other stadiums in South Africa where World Cup matches will be played, while one line points to Berlin’s Olympiastadion where the final match of the 2006 Fifa World Cup was took place.

These lines are continued down the façade, in the passages and ramps and on the paving outside.

“During the tournament, as each game is played, the score will be embedded in the paving leaving a lasting legacy after the tournament,” said Moody.

Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee