Sahara Stadium Kingsmead

The Sahara stadium is one of Southern Africa’s most popular cricket destinations and hope to the well-known Dolphins team. Unlike many stadiums within South Africa, the Kingsmead stadium is one of few that wasn’t revamped for the 2010 FIFA world cup as it doesn’t host any games other than cricket. However, the stadium remains up to date and is well taken care of, thanks to regular cricket games that help the management team maintain the stadium and apply upgrades where needed.

The stadium offers an excellent range of facilities, allowing thousands to attend each cricket game, but for those watching at home, the stadium is known for broadcasting international games as well as national matches. The first major game involved South Africa and England, way back in 1923 on the 18th of January. Ever since, the stadium has become one of the moist popular within the country, especially with it’s Boxing Day test games, which has recently been rescheduled.

About Sahara Stadium

The stadium offers an impressive capacity for 25,000 people, which doesn’t include the grass patches available, offering seats to another 100 or more people for each game. To provide everyone with the perfect view, the Sahara Stadium includes two huge screens, offering live camera views as well as updates scores and additional important details regarding the current match.

The stadium is located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, which is about a 7 hours drive from Johannesburg and only about 30 minutes from the King Shaka International Airport within Durban.

Since the stadium is located to close to the beach, there’s a myth that changes in tide have an effect on the grounds during a game. Though mostly joking, there have been many batting collapses that were blamed on the change in tide, making the stadium an interesting test ground as things could change completely, that’s if it really has an effect of course.

History and Interesting Matches

Perhaps the most interesting match even played at Sahara Stadium was in 1939 when the South African credit team was once again accepted into international cricket games. The game was played against England, taking place as none other than Sahara Stadium Kingsmead.

Of course, the above match doesn’t take anything away from the first even international test played at the grounds, which also involved the South African and English team. After five days of playing, the match resulted in a draw.

In 2007, on the 19th of September, the stadium became even more famous as Yuvraj Singh had an iconic game by getting six consecutive sixes at the grounds. This occurred during a Twenty20 match between India and England, making it a match to remember as the fastest 50 score in cricket.

Other important noteworthy events include the first ODI in 1992 between South Africa and India, the first T20I match in 2007 between Kenya and New Zealand and of course playing a part in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Royal Bafokeng Stadium

The Royal Bafokeng Stadium is one of many in Southern Africa where a large variety of sporting events take place. Located in Rustenburg, North West Province near the Magaliesberg Mountain Range, the 1999 created stadium remains a hot topic for all types of sports. Not only is it a popular hosting location for various sports including soccer, athletics and rugby, it also played a part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup that was hosted by South Africa.

Since it’s completion in 1999, the stadium went through various changes in preparation for the world cup. There were many changes to the stadium, including adding an impressive 4,000 seats to the original 38,000 it had before the world cup. This included the extension of the main west stand while also adding a roof to the west side. Further upgrades include a new electronic scoreboard and various upgrades to other sections, including the PA system and the floodlights that turned this stadium into the perfect football destination for the world cup. Today, it’s in much better shape than it was before the world cup, not only due to the upgrades but because it forms part of South African history as well.

The Stadium’s Capabilities

There’s a lot of interesting details about the stadium, including the fact that it’s the only stadium that’s community-owned in the whole of South Africa. It also features a lot more than just a sports field as seen with many other stadiums as the Royal Bafokeng Stadium offers an Olympic swimming pool, tennis courts, athletics track around the field, basketball courts volleyball courts and a fully-equipped fitness centre for the athletes.

When it comes to enjoying the most out of each event at the stadium, it also impresses with a screen of 40 square meters that offers the perfect view for everyone at the stadium. For the VIPs, the stadium offers an impressive 320 seats along with multiple other levels that allow everyone to attend each of the events hosted by the stadium.

Major Events at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Since the renovations, the stadium was quickly selected to host various major events for the 2010 FIFA world cup. It all began in 2009 where the stadium was used for 4 of the Confederations Cup, including New Zealand vs Spain (Group A), South Africa vs New Zealand (Group A), Egypt vs USA (Group B) and Spain vs. South African for the third-place match.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the stadium was selected to host 5 of the major events, which is where Bafokeng really made a name for itself. These events include England vs the USA (Group C), New Zealand vs Slovakia (Group F), Ghana vs Australia (Group D), Mexico vs Uruguay (Group A), Denmark vs. Japan (Group E) and finally, the USA vs Ghana in the round of 16.

The stadium was also used for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and has since been hosting a range of other sporting events, of which most are soccer. However, there are also many other sporting events that take place regularly, thanks to all the sporting options available.

Peter Mokaba Stadium

In preparation of the FIFA World Cup of 2010, South Africa had to upgrade and build a variety of stadiums, and as a result, some of the most impressive stadiums hosted the soccer games. These included the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, Durban Stadium, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Cape Town Stadium, and two stadiums in Johannesburg; the Ellis Park and Soccer City. One of the most impressive stadiums is the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Part of the preparation services also including a website created by the marketing council of the country to provide journalists with everything they need to know more about the country, which was vital in attracting more tourist during the world cup.

Polokwane’s Rugby Union and Football Stadium, The Peter Mokaba Stadium

The Peter Mokaba Stadium was built in Polokwane, which was previously known as Pietersburg in South Africa. It was built specifically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and it has a 45,500 capacity. Although this capacity was reduced when used for the world cup matches to 41,733 as some of the areas were reserved for officials. The stadium is named after the former ANC Youth League leader Peter Mokaba.

The stadium is located only three kilometres from the Polokwane city centre and east of the older Peter Mokaba Stadium. It was one of five stadiums build from the ground just before the 2010 World Cup. Initially, the pans were to upgrade the already existing Peter Mokaba Stadium, although these plans were abandoned and a new stadium worth R1,245,000,000 ZAR was built only 3 km from the existing one.

The Peter Mokaba stadium was intensely used for training and matches, and it was decided to reinforce its natural grass with artificial fibres, which ensures the field offers a level and stable surface of Desso GrassMaster.

Matches Played During the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Peter Mokaba Stadium

Four matches took place at the stadium during the 2010 World Cup, which included 13 June, Algeria vs Slovenia and 30,325 fans attended. 17th June France vs Mexico attracted a crowd of 35,370. 22nd June Greece vs Argentina a match played in front of 38,891 fans and the last was on 24 June Paraguay vs New Zealand watched by 34,850.

Peter Mokaba Stadium Use

The first event ever hosted at the stadium was the Peter Mokaba Cup on the 23rd of January 2010. It was a friendly tournament played against four different teams, which also served as the opening or the brand-new stadium. The team’s part of the opening including Kaizer Chiefs, Brondby, Wits and Supersport United. The first international game that was hosted by the stadium was between Guatemala and South Africa on the 31st of May 2010 in which South Africa won. A few football matches took place on the 20th of November 2010 between Kaizer Chiefs and Telkom. When it comes to rugby the stadium hosted a rugby union match on the 30th of January 2010, it was a Super 14 warm-up for Lions and the Bulls.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a recently developed multi-purpose stadium which is located in the city of Durban in South Africa. It was first opened in November of 2009 and hosted its first match during the same month. One of the most famed games that were hosted at the stadium was for the FIFA World in 2010Cup, which the stadium was nearly filled to max capacity, which is 56,000. The Moses Mabhida Stadium is in the same area of the Kings Park Stadium and the Durban Street Circuit, which is commonly used for motorsports. Recently, in an online pool, the stadium was voted to be the most popular in South Africa.

History and Design

The South African Communist Party named the stadium after its past secretary. The Moses Mabhida Stadium was built in his honour due to his dedication to creating a democratic party in South Africa as well as erasing some of the racial tension that was commonly seen. The stadium is considered to be one of the newer ones as it first started construction in July of 2006. In the following months, which turned into years, the stadium was worked on until it was finally finished in the fall of 2009. What makes the stadium stand out so much is its design which is centred towards the message of victory and success.

One defining feature is the Arch of Triumph which is one of the first notable features of the stadium. It takes the shape of a “Y”, which has been said to have been inspired by the South African flag – which fans and the teams that are playing can pass through. Additionally, the shape and style of the stadium allow it to be perfect for an array of sports outside of football, which has lead to an increased amount of tourism for South Africa. The Moses Mabhida Stadium has several different levels which all are supported by the plethora of columns which adds to the design.

Outside of the visual aspects of the design. The stadium is known for having 120 luxury suites and business clubs for high-ranking individuals, which provides a total of 7,000 seats for VIP members to watch the game in style. Finally, one its most incredible design features is that the grand arch is not just purely for visual enjoyment, it has a SkyCar which allows visitors to ride to the top and get one of the most breathtaking views of the grounds of the stadium as well as the surrounding area. Even the seating was taken into consideration as they were coloured with the idea of having the seats look like the ocean if one was to spin around the centre of the stadium.

Usages

The Moses Mabhida Stadium has been used for several sports as well as other events. Other than hosting football, the stadium has been used for golf practice, bungee jumping, cricket matches, motorsports, rugby union, as well as concerts. Originally, the stadium was planned to be used for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to host the opening ceremony as well as a few of the events. Although this was revoked due to funding issues with the committee for the Commonwealth Games. Currently, there are no upcoming games which have been scheduled by the stadium.

Mbombela Stadium

Mbombela Stadium is situated in the city of Mbombela, which is the capital in the Mpumalanga province, selected to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is multi-purpose sports stadium seating 43,500 sports enthusiasts.

The Mbombela Stadium features 18 giraffe columns supporting its roof while the seating painted in black and white zebra skin adds to the friendly vibrant atmosphere. The stadium also offers 4,500 parking’s, categorized as service provider parking, media parking, disabled, hospitality parking, suite holder parking and VIP parking. It is located west of Mpumalanga and shares a name given to Nelspruit in 2009.

Built At A Cost of R1,050million

The stadium built in time for the June kick-off of the World Cup and built via taxpayer funding to the value of R1,050million. Construction started at the beginning of 2007 and the stadium design is inspired by the close by tourist attraction, the Kruger National Park. Its signature feature is the roof supports that closely resembles giraffes. The bowl designed seating aims to provide everyone with a seat as close as possible to the field and this venue was the most compact arena during the World Cup. An area of 22.500 square meters covered by the 1,450-tonne roof, designed to keep the costs low, while offering undercover seating.

While the stadium was one of few ready ahead of the World Cup allegations of corruption clouded its opening since this project plagued by the murder of three individuals all connected to the allegations of awarding the construction contract to a rogue company. Council Speaker Jimmy Mohlala was a vocal critic of the province corruption for some time and in late 2008 took legal steps to cancel the design contract of the stadium leading to a criminal case against Bobby Motaung, the soccer boss at the time. Motaung obtained a 1 million rand overdraft from the bank by forging the council’s letter and in 2009 Mohlala paid with his life, when he was brutally murdered just outside his residence.

It seems that the stadium is now used once a year for the Mpumalanga Show since and maybe some odd sports events. Both the New York Times and other international newspaper reported that the 43,500-seater is nothing but a white elephant after the World Cup. The only soccer team in the province is a single provincial team. Even though the stadium offers an auditorium that easily holds 160 people there is no need for it in such a small area. The population in Nelspruit now called Mbombela City is only 110,159 and most are farmers. Still, there is staff managing the facility on a daily basis, including a general office manager, marketing manager and a general manager as well as maintenance staff.

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

The Loftus Versfeld Stadium was created especially for rugby and soccer matches. It is located in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa and it is known for its whopping seating capacity of 51,762. This stadium is currently owned by the Blue Bulls Rugby Union as has been the home grounds for the team since its opening in 1923.

Famously, this is the stadium which hosted the 2009 Super 14 Final where the Blue Bulls won a highly anticipated match with a full crowd against the Waikato Chiefs. Along with the Currie Cup Final in which the esteemed team won against the Free State Cheetahs, this is the stadium that hosted the opening games for the 2010 FFA World Cup.

History

While the stadium’s name is interesting – it was actually named after Robert Loftus Owen Versfeld. He was the founder beginning organised sports in Pretoria – which created a legacy that is still seen today. Originally when the stadium was created in 1923, it only had the ability to hold just around 2,000 seats. Although, as time went on and more games and events were hosted there, changes were made to the stadium.

Ten years after its opening, the stadium officially gained its current name to honour the late Loftus Versfeld. After the name change, the stadium has been no stranger to new developments and stylish modifications to keep it modernised. The most noticeable time for the development changes was in the 1970’s once the stadium went through several different expansions. Once the 1980’s arrived – the stadium had already begun to resemble its current look and size.

Once the stadium was selected to host the opening games for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it went through another refurbishment which increased the seating capacity along with cleaning and renewing field.

Events Hosted

Other than hosting an array of soccer and rugby games – the Loftus Versfeld Stadium has been a host to other events as well, mainly concerts and boxing matches. When Celine Dion performed during her 2008 Taking Chances Tour the stadium had an impressive attendee rate of over 80,000. Other acts, such as a concert held by UB40 along with Robbie Williams Tour in 2006 – the stadium was filled with nearly 56,000 music fans.

One of the most icon events held in the stadium was the boxing match between the American heavyweight champion John Tate and the South African heavyweight Gerrie Coetzee. Over 80,000 attendees filed the stands – most rooting for the local boxer Coetzee. Despite the massive amount of support from the crowds and performing in his home country, he still lost.

Currently, there are no events that will be held at the stadium during the rest of the current year.

Coca-Cola Park

Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg, South Africa.is what Ellis Park Stadium, also known as Emirates Airline Park, was called from 2008-2012. After the five-year sponsorship deal ran out with Coca-Cola, the name was pulled by the stadium, which has held many rugby matches, soccer matches, and rugby. The park is also known for the biggest stadium disaster in South Africa when in 2001 43 people died in a stampede.

The Transvaal Rugby Football Union, which is now the Golden Lions Rugby Club, used the Wanderers Club’s stadium, but with issues of other clubs, they looked for their own grounds. The rental agreement was signed in 1927 with 13 acres of land for the new grounds, and Ellis Park Stadium was opened in 1928 with the first test being the Transvaal Rugby Football Union against the All Blacks. In 1979 the old stadium was demolished, and a new one was built. Ellis Park made history in 2005 as the first black-owned stadium in South Africa. In 1955 the biggest match took place at the stadium where 100,000 spectators witnessed a match between the Transvaal Rugby Football Union and British and Irish Lions.

The 2001 Disaster

In 2001 in a soccer match between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates where 43 people were crushed to death in a stampede. There were reports that 120,000 people were in the stadium, which was well over capacity. When the Orlando Pirates tied the match, more people tried to find seats and see the action, which only made the stampede get bigger. The untrained security guards fired tear gas into the crowds, but that only made the situation worse. After the disaster, it came out the security guards were bribed to let people into the stadium even though they did not have tickets.

There was another incident at Ellis Park Stadium in 2007 when high winds blew some of the signs on the pitch of a soccer match. Three players were hit as was a linesman and after play resumed the match was called soon after because of the terrible weather.

Big Sporting Events


Ellis Park, formerly Coca-Cola Stadium, has been the place where many international sporting events have taken place. The 1995 Rugby World Cup was hosted by South Africa, and 65,000 fans saw South Africa beat New Zealand 15-12 in extra time in the final. Ellis Park was also one of the group venues for both the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup. Nearly $40 million in renovations was done to the stadium before the World Cup. One of the quarterfinal matches was held there with eventual champion Spain defeating Paraguay 1-0.

Concerts

Ellis Park has also seen some of the biggest names in the music business hold concerts there. Whitney Houston (1994), the Rolling Stones (1995), and Eminem (2014) have also played there. Houston played there in The Bodyguard World Tour with that concert being recorded and sold on video as Whitney: The Concert for a New South Africa.