The anticipation and excitement could be felt in the air across South Africa as two more 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadiums – Green Point stadium in Cape Town and Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane opened their doors.
The two Cape Town premier league teams, Ajax Cape Town and Santos, battled it out on the newly laid pitch of Green Point, in front of thousands of Cape Town residents who flocked to the new city showpiece snapping up all 20,000 available tickets. The event signaled the culmination of years of hard work and for the residents of Cape Town, 2010 has now certainly begun
Erwin Hendricks, a football fan with an entourage of friends, all wearing South African football jerseys, could not hide his excitement.”Everyone in Cape Town is extremely proud of the stadium, I work in the area and I have seen the steady development and it is amazing that Cape Town can now boast one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world. I have tickets for World Cup games in Cape Town and I just can’t wait!”
This was a sneak preview of what the World Cup has to offer in terms of bringing people together to celebrate the beautiful game. Fans from all of South Africa’s diverse cultures were present with their vuvuzela’s. Giant puppets, football tricksters and South African flags created a festival atmosphere inside and around the ground. “The stadium is awe-inspiring and gives goose bumps upon arrival,” enthused Rade Boskovic, a fellow football lover and stadium project manager who felt a genuine sense of achievement at completing what will certainly prove to be a popular World Cup attraction.
Jacques van Embden, a proud South African wearing his Bafana Bafana top and armed with a vuvuzela believes that Cape Town residents should be proud of their new addition. ”This stadium is unique, unbelievably beautiful and the location is the most awesome part. We are all unbelievably excited to be here and this stadium is infinitely better than anything we Capetonian’s have ever had.”
Trevor Kramer a football journalist, coach and player expressed his first impressions off the stadium. ”Compared to stadiums across the world it is very impressive. There is so much space outside the ground giving fans easy access to the stadium.” “The stadium is beautiful and comparable to the very best in the World,” said Gavin Cowley from adidas South Africa . “The event today is the rebirth of football in South Africa bringing in a new audience that do not normally attend domestic football matches.”
With a World Cup capacity of 68,000, the venue will host five group stage games, one round of 16 match, one Quarter-Final and one Semi-Final. Confirmed group stage matches include, France vs Uruguay, Italy vs Paraguay, England vs Algeria, Portugal vs Korea DPR and Cameroon vs Netherlands.
In the Northern extreme of South Africa, residents of Polokwane flocked to the Peter Mokaba stadium for the grand opening – the inaugural Peter Mokaba Cup. The tournament saw top flight premier league teams, Kaizer Chiefs, Wits, SuperSport United and Danish club, Brondby IF compete for the trophy.
With 20,000 tickets available, all were quickly sold out as the city of Polokwane warmed up for what will surely be a huge 2010 party in just a few months.
The stadium will play host to four group stage matches with Algeria vs Slovenia, France vs Mexico, Greece vs Argentina and Paraguay vs New Zealand.