JHB Starts R1.5 Billion Revamp of 2010 Soccer World Cup Stadium

Johannesburg has started the process of refurbishing its 2010 FNB Soccer World Cup stadium...

The City of Johannesburg handed over the site of FNB Stadium to the constructors, which would see amongst others, its seating capacity increased from 70 000 to 94 000.

"I would like to assure you that Johannesburg is ready and prepared to take on the challenge of hosting all relevant events and matches. Significant progress in preparations is self-evident," the city's Executive Mayor Amos Masondo said at the sod turning ceremony.

FNB will host the opening ceremony,
the first match and the final game of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. Johannesburg is the only city in South Africa that offers two venues for the games, namely FNB Stadium and Ellis Park.

Local football veteran and coach
Jomo Sono and Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief executive officer Danny Jordaan joined in the event, which included the unveiling of Johannesburg's 2010 brand. Mayor Masondo revealed the city had established a specialised 2010 Directorate to implement its 2010 strategy.

The world's biggest sporting event will last for a month in June 2010, but government, from national to local, plans to maximise the benefits and impact of the tournament long after a 2010 champion is crowned. This will be achieved through the implementation of legacy projects, which entail the creation or refurbishment of infrastructure that is not directly linked to the games.

In Johannesburg, some of the legacy projects include the replacement of public utilities such as outdoor refuse bins, benches, vendor stalls, play areas, pathways and ablution facilities. Others are the greening of undeveloped soccer fields, planting trees throughout Soweto, building an indoor sports centre and an Olympic swimming pool. The city has budgeted R1 billion towards these long term projects.

Mr Masondo said Johannesburg's road network would be able to accommodate the high traffic volumes anticipated in the city, particularly at the Soccer City and Ellis Park host stadiums.

As many teams taking part in the games
might conduct their final training sessions in and around Johannesburg, the city has identified possible venues as Orlando Stadium, Dobsonville Stadium, Rand Stadium, Cecil Payne Stadium, Rabie Ridge Stadium and Ruimsig stadium. The Orlando and Dobsonville stadiums in Soweto already meet the requirements of the world football governing body, FIFA, in terms of capacity, safety standards, medical facilities, flood lighting and media requirements.

A total of R 337 million and R69 million has been allocated for the final touches to the two stadiums and their precinct respectively. A further R227 million has been set aside to bring the other four venues up to code. In its safety plan, Johannesburg is set to train and employ 500 new metro police and will have a staff complement of 4000 officers by 2010.

Countrywide, the following stadia will be constructed or upgraded for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup:

' FNB Stadium in Johannesburg

' Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg

' Peter Mokaba Sports Complex in Polokwane

' Green Point Stadium in Cape Town

' Moses Madhida in Durban

' Nelson Mandela Metro stadium in Port Elizabeth

' Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit

' Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria

' Mangaung Stadium in Bloemfontein

' Royal Bafokeng Sport Palace in Rustenburg

Source: BuaNews

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IMPORTANT WORLD CUP 2010 DATES:
FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009
Final Draw 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup South Africa

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