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Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is a 46,500 seat stadium (44,000 after the 2010 FIFA World Cup) in Port Elizabethmarker.

The five-tier, 1.1 billion Rand (approximately $150m USD) 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.

Background

This is the first time a world-class soccer stadium has been built in the Eastern Cape Province. The stadium boasts 150 VIP suites, 60 business suites, a sports clothing shop, gymnasium, 500 parking bays, plus lecture and function rooms, and was originally scheduled for completion in December 2008.

Inevitably, there was a great deal of speculation about the status of stadium construction in the run-up to the 2010 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 arenas being built are in Cape Townmarker, Durbanmarker, Polokwanemarker and Nelspruitmarker.

Design

The stadium will have an eye-catching, unique roof-structure and a spectacular view, overlooking the North End Lake. 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.

Facilities

The stadium will seat 45 000 in addition to 4 000 extra seats which will be temporarily installed for the World Cup. Two big viewing screens will be installed for the live viewing of events as well as two conference rooms, which are able to accommodate 200 people will be situated on the 5th level. There are four ramps for easy wheelchair access, 74 toilet blocks as well as 32 colour coded turnstile gates. There are 23 private boxes with a planned additional 22 private boxes, including two bars, as part of the post World Cup building.

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.

Pitch

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 was designed to be able to accomadte both football and rugby.

Transport

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.

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.

Confederations Cup

On July 8 2008 it was announced that the stadium had been removed from the list of stadiums for the 2009 Confederations Cup as it was believed it would not be ready on time, however surprisingly, it became the first newly-built 2010 Stadium to be completed.

FIFA World Cup

The stadium will host 8 games during the tournament. It will host 5 group games, as well as knock out games. A round of 16 games, a quarterfinal and the 3rd/4th playoff will be played at the stadium.

Football at the stadium

On the 4th of July 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 the stadium hosted a leg of the 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. They went on to face Manchester City in the final of the challenge.

On the 9th of August (Woman's Day in South Africa) a special double-header of games was played. This along with female musical acts were performed to celebrate Woman's Day. The first match involved two woman's invitational teams, and the second was between a Brazil legends and South African legends team. The Brazilian legends were drawn form their World Cup winning squad from 1994. The South African team was drawn from the 1996 African Cup of Nations winners.

On the 14th of November the stadium hosted its first international football match. A friendly between Bafana Bafana and Japan was scheduled to take place at the stadium. A crowed of 44,000 watched as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Rugby at the stadium

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 Valke 44 - 8. In addition, each provinces' U19 and U21 teams played curtain raisers to the main match.

Other Large Events

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 the stadium opening and a trial run of FIFA match day protocols. The event was attended by government officials as well as 17 000 residents.

On 18 November 2009, the stadium hosted the Miss World Sports event of the Miss World 2009 pageant.

The stadium is set to host its first concert on 28 November 2009. The 12 hour event is being called the Bay Summer Concert, and will feature Busta Rhymes, as well as other top acts.

Post World Cup Usage

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, as well as Bay United if they return to the Premier Soccer League.

See also



References

External links




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