Construction has been completed on all the host city stadiums and Soccer City, which will host both the opening and final matches, has already had staged major games to try out the new facility. Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane will on Monday night test its readiness when the stadium hosts the match between Bafana Bafana and Guatemala.
Situated at Nasrec, South of Johannesburg, Soccer City was handed over to FIFA on 20 May and according Brian Carter of Grinaker-LTA Construction Engineers, the facility is ready to accommodate a world class match “any day”.
Though workers were still scrambling to put up final touches on the 90 000-seater stadium on Sunday, there is no doubt that South Africa’s flagship 2010 stadium is ready for the 11 June showpiece.
“The facility is ready there is no doubt about that, this is a stadium that will make South Africans proud for many years to come,” Carter said. He described the recent clash between Bafana Bafana and Colombia and the Nedbank Final played at the stadium as a perfect test for its readiness. He said the matches, which were both sold out, proved that Soccer City could accommodate any number of crowd on any given day.
“The way the stadium has been built makes for an easy flow of the crowd and as we witnessed there was no congestion what so ever during those matches,” said Carter. Soccer City was recently awarded an overall building prize during the Fultons Building Awards. The judges were particularly impressed by the extensive use of concrete products, both as complex structural elements as well as for high quality artistic finishes.
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, which is billed to host the match between Serbia and Ghana on 13 June, Cameron and Denmark on 19 June, South Africa and Uruguay on 16 June and USA and Algeria on 23 June, was handed over to FIFA last week Monday.
While work on the pitch is still underway, all the new additional seats in the stadium have already been installed. Organisers are currently busy with final touches on overplay projects such as the broadcast compound, commercial display area and the media centre. Tshwane Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said FIFA is expected this week to deliver the infrastructure needed to run the broadcast compound.
The winter period is known to attract a huge power demand across the country and there have been fears of power outages during the world cup. But the LOC recently gave an undertaking that all the host cities have made plans to address any fears of power cuts during the World Cup. All power needs at Loftus Versfeld Stadium are provided by generators from three hours before a match. This includes the entire stadium including the media and broadcast compound.
“Should the generators fail for whatever reason, there are special batteries which can provide all the power needs for a time while any problem is dealt with or the power is switched to the City grid,” Ramokgopa said. She said the City of Tshwane had submitted an application to postpone the implementation of the red light until 6 June. “The application was not approved and as such the organising committee implemented the red light from 24 May,” Ramokgopa said.
Red Light is the stadium boundary which denotes exclusive use by FIFA. This meant that all roads around Loftus had to be closed with controlled access. This also led to the Super 14 final match between Blue Bulls and Stormers taking place at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The city will also be embarking on the tournament branding of the Super Stadium precinct situated in Atteridgevile ahead of the warm up match between Bafana Bafana and Denmark on 5 June.
The Green Point Stadium in Cape has also been handed over to FIFA. Situated on the juncture between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, the stadium has been transformed into a completely new 70 000 seater. It will host the opening match between Uruguay and France on 11 June. – BuaNews