The stadiums are in place, the seats in many have already been filled in a number of test events and now the final piece of the puzzle has begun. As the World Cup countdown clock ticks past 86 days to go, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) and FIFA today embarked on the final stadium inspection tour.
The delegation kicked off the tour with a visit to Soccer City stadium this morning, as each department walked through the areas of the stadium that will affect their work during the tournament.
From media operations who need to ensure that the media facilities such as press conference rooms and media centres will be in place for the thousands of journalists expected at the stadium during the tournament, to marketing who need to ensure that there is sufficient signage to direct the hundreds-and-thousands of fans expected in Soccer City, it was a tough day of scrutinising the progress.
“The final stadium inspection is a significant event as we head toward the beginning of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With all the stadiums now largely complete we must ensure that the finer details are considered. We have come a long way since the first inspection tour and now we are ending that process – we have proved that we can get the infrastructure ready in time. Now it’s really the final check up to see that everything is going as it should,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the OC, Dr Danny Jordaan.
For Johannesburg’s 2010 Host City Coordinator, Sibongile Mazibuko – who oversees two World Cup stadiums in Soccer City and Ellis Park – the first day of the inspection was a success.
“We are moving closer to finalising all the outstanding issues. Overlay work has started and it is really starting to take shape,” said Mazibuko, referring to the process whereby a stadium is made World Cup compliant through the installation of temporary overlay infrastructure such as media and accreditation centres, hospitality areas, tournament specific signage and media tribunes to name just a few.
The stadium tour will continue on to the other nine stadiums over the next week, ending on 26 March when the delegation will return to the OC headquarters at SAFA House in Johannesburg.