World Cup 2010: The Venues
The 2010 World Cup gets ever nearer and the biggest challenge for the first finals in Africa was to improve the infrastructure. On the face of it the South Africans have done a sterling job as they have ten top class venues spread across nine cities.
Below is a run down on the stadia and the matches that will be taking place in each.
Soccer City, Johannesburg
Soccer City has a capacity of 94,700, the largest in the whole of Africa. It will be the venue of the opening fixture between South Africa and Mexico and the final. The stadium itself is inspired by a traditional piece of African pottery named a "calabash" and its unique design means no fan inside will be more than 100 metres from the field, as long as they are at their seats and not in the bar of course.
Other than the opening match there are a further four more group matches, one second round match, one quarter-final and the final.
|11 June||Group A||South Africa v Mexico|
|14 June||Group E||Netherlands v Denmark|
|17 June||Group B||Argentina v South Korea|
|20 June||Group G||Brazil v Ivory Coast|
|23 June||Group D||Ghana v Germany|
|27 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group B v Runner-up of Group A|
|02 July||Quarter-finals||Winner of match 49 v Winner of match 50|
|11 July||Final||Winner of match 61 v Winner of match 62|
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Set in the nation's largest city, the only city that has two stadia being used, Johannesburg boasts arguably the most famous of South Africa's venues in Ellis Park. This 62,000 seater was built in 1928, but underwent a major face-lift in time for the 2009 Confederations Cup. It is home to the Orlando Pirates football team and holds a special place in the hearts of South African rugby fans as it is where they triumphed over New Zealand in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final.
It will host five group games, one second round game and one quarter-final game.
|12 June||Group B||Argentina v Nigeria|
|15 June||Group G||Brazil v North Korea|
|18 June||Group C||Slovenia v USA|
|21 June||Group H||Spain v Honduras|
|24 June||Group F||Slovakia v Italy|
|28 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group G v Runner-up of Group H|
|03 July||Quarter-finals||Winner of match 55 v Winner of match 56|
Free State, Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa and is the location of the Free State Stadium. It has recently been renovated to include a second tier especially for the World Cup and now holds and impressive 48,000. The football team that plays on this ground regularly are called Bloemfontein Celtic who are twinned with Portugal's Sporting Lisbon.
There are going to be five group games and one second round match here.
|14 June||Group E||Japan v Cameroon|
|17 June||Group B||Greece v Nigeria|
|20 June||Group F||Slovakia v Paraguay|
|22 June||Group A||France v South Africa|
|25 June||Group H||Switzerland v Honduras|
|27 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group D v Runner-up of Group C|
Green Point, Cape Town
This impressive venue in South Africa's second largest city is a multi-purpose stadium set in a stunning location with the backdrop being Table Mountain and it cost around £220 million. It holds 70,000 spectators and to make sure they aren't too loud the exterior has been fitted with noise-reducing cladding. It is often referred to as just Cape Town Stadium to avoid any confusion.
It will host five group games, one second round game, one quarter-final and one semi-final.
|11 June||Group A||Uruguay v France|
|14 June||Group F||Italy v Paraguay|
|18 June||Group C||England v Algeria|
|21 June||Group G||Portugal v North Korea|
|24 June||Group E||Cameroon v Netherlands|
|29 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group H v Runner-up of Group G|
|03 July||Quarter-finals||Winner of match 52 v Winner of match 51|
|06 July||Semi-finals||Winner of match 58 v Winner of match 57|
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Pretoria is South Africa's administrative capital and also home to the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. It is named after Pretoria's founder of organised sports and like many of the other pre-existing stadia it has received a facelift in time for the World Cup. It is one of South Africa's oldest stadiums dating back to 1906. It is home to one of the country's best rugby teams, the Blue Bulls. The capacity stands at 50,000 and this was reached when it was used for the South Africa v Sweden match in 1999. The match was the first time South Africa had ever beaten a European nation. It has also hosted many concerts over years with people such as Robbie Williams, Celine Dion and even UB40 rocking out there.
It will host five group games and one second round game.
|13 June||Group D||Serbia v Ghana|
|16 June||Group A||South Africa v Uruguay|
|19 June||Group E||Cameroon v Denmark|
|23 June||Group C||USA v Algeria|
|25 June||Group H||Chile v Spain|
|29 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group F v Runner-up of Group E|
Mbombela Stadium is one of five newly built stadia being used for the World Cup. It holds over 43,500 fans and is set to host four group matches. The main features of the Mbombela Stadium are the 18 roof supports that resemble giraffes that look out across the city. Mbombela is siSwati (one of the 11 official languages in South Africa) and literally means 'many people together in a small space.'
|16 June||Group H||Honduras v Chile|
|20 June||Group F||Italy v New Zealand|
|23 June||Group D||Australia v Serbia|
|25 June||Group G||North Korea v Ivory Coast|
Moses Mabhida, Durban
Who is Moses Mabhida I hear you cry, and what has he done to have this spectacular 70,000 seater stadium named after him? Well worry no more, Moses Mabhida was a working class hero in the 1970s and went on to lead South African Communist Party right up until he died in 1985. After the World Cup many people fear such a grand stadium will not be needed, so the capacity will be reduced to 54,000. The 106-metre support arch that soars across the stadium will also be used to carry visitors to the top that provides stunning views across Durban.
There will be five group games, one second round game and one semi-final.
|13 June||Group D||Germany v Australia|
|16 June||Group H||Spain v Switzerland|
|19 June||Group E||Netherlands v Japan|
|22 June||Group B||Nigeria v South Korea|
|25 June||Group G||Portugal v Brazil|
|28 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group E v Runner-up of Group F|
|07 July||Semi-finals||Winner of match 59 v Winner of match 60|
Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth
Named after the great man himself, Nelson Mandela Bay is the first football only stadium in the Port Elizabeth area. The design of the curved outer shell is to protect the 50,000 fans from the strong winds that hit the area due to its proximity to the sea. On 18 November 2009, the stadium hosted the Miss World Sports event of the Miss World 2009 pageant.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will host five group matches, the third place play-off and a quarter-final.
|12 June||Group B||South Korea v Greece|
|15 June||Group G||Ivory Coast v Portugal|
|18 June||Group D||Germany v Serbia|
|21 June||Group H||Chile v Switzerland|
|23 June||Group C||Slovenia v England|
|26 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group A v Runner-up of Group B|
|02 July||Quarter-finals||Winner of match 53 v Winner of match 54|
|10 July||Third place play-off||Loser of match 61 v Loser of match 62|
Peter Mokaba, Polokwane
This stadium is another of the new builds, and due to its name holds a special place in a lot of South African's hearts. Peter Mokaba was one of the main players in the struggle and emancipation of the country against the apartheid regime; he was renowned for his fighting spirit and leadership - some of the qualities that the 46,000 capacity crowd will be looking for on the pitch. There will be four group games here.
|13 June||Group C||Algeria v Slovenia|
|17 June||Group A||France v Mexico|
|22 June||Group B||Greece v Argentina|
|24 June||Group F||Paraguay v New Zealand|
Royal Bafokeng, Rustenburg
The Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace had a full facelift as well as an increase in capacity from 38,000 to 42,000 to enable it to host five group matches and one in the second round. The stadium 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.
|12 June||Group C||England v USA|
|15 June||Group F||New Zealand v Slovakia|
|19 June||Group D||Ghana v Australia|
|22 June||Group A||Mexico v Uruguay|
|24 June||Group E||Denmark v Japan|
|26 June||Round of 16||Winner of Group C v Runner-up of Group D|