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FNB Stadium

FNB Stadium

Built in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup which was hosted in South Africa, Soccer City or FNB Stadium was completed on the 21st of October 2009. Presently the stadium is the largest stadium in Africa and fifth largest in the world, with a seating capacity of almost 95 000. Although the stadium was not built from the floor up, the original building underwent a major upgrade for the World Cup, with a new design inspired by the shape of an African pot called a calabash, this lending itself to the buildings nickname, The Calabash. The Stadiums colouring on the outside is a mosaic of fire and earthen colours and incorporates a ring of lights which run around the bottom of the structure, simulating fire underneath the calabash pot. The symbolism behind the calabash is important, not only to the World Cup but also to the citizens of South Africa, as it is a symbol of sharing and togetherness.

As if the original stadium which was built in 1987 was big enough, the refurbishment saw the addition of more than 80 000 cubic metres of concrete, 9 000 tons of reinforcing steel, 8 000 tons of structural steel and 120 000 cubed metres of soil. The upgrade saw the addition of an extended upper tier around the stadium to increase the capacity, an additional 2 executive suites, an encircling roof, new changing room facilities and new floodlights. The number of suites in the stadium was also increased to 195.

The stadium has hosted some events of major importance, both locally and internationally. It was the venue where former president Nelson Mandela was welcomed back to Soweto after his release from prison in 1990, as well as the venue for his memorial service which was held on 10 December 2013 and saw an unprecedented gathering of world leaders. These leaders included; USA president Barrack Obama, former presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W Bush. The stadium is also the home grounds of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club and the South Africa national football team, Bafana Bafana.

Apart from soccer, the stadium has also host Rugby fixtures. In 2010 the FNB stadium hosted its first rugby union match, which was the Tri Nations match between South Africa and New Zealand, and to the dismay of local rugby fans the game was won by the latter. This match boasts the third highest rugby attendance ever in the Southern Hemisphere and the current record attendance for the redeveloped stadium, with an attendance of 94,713.

The stadium has played host to a number of intenational performers, including U2, Neil Diamond, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park, Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and Foo Fighters.

The FNB Stadium stands as a unique architectural landmark in Gauteng and FIFA has described it as being one of the most artistic and awe-inspiring football venues on the African continent.

The stadium offers Tours:
Monday - Friday 09:00, 10:30, 12:00, 13:30 and 15:00
Weekend: 12:00 and 13:30

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