Soccer City, formerly known as the FNB Stadium, is a stadium located in the Soweto area of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is located next to the South African Football Association headquarters (SAFA House) where both the FIFA offices and the Local Organising Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are housed.
FNB Stadium, known as Soccer City during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is a stadium located in Nasrec, the Soweto area of Johannesburg, South Africa. It is located next to the South African Football Association headquarters (SAFA House) where both the FIFA offices and the Local Organising Committee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were housed. Designed as the main association football stadium for the World Cup, the FNB Stadium became the largest stadium in Africa with a capacity of 94,700, However its maximum capacity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup was 84,490 due to reserved seating for the press and other VIP's. The stadium is also known by its nickname "The Calabash" due to its resemblance to the African pot or gourd.
It was the site of Nelson Mandela's first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison. It was also the site of Chris Hani's funeral.
The stadium has been officially known as FNB Stadium since it was opened in 1989. This was due to a naming rights deal with First National Bank. However, the stadium was often referred to as Soccer City by fans and the media, including during the 1996 African Cup of Nations.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as well as in the month before the tournament, the stadium was referred to as Soccer City. This was done as FIFA does not allow stadiums to be referred to by sponsored names during FIFA sanctioned tournaments.
On 12 July 2010, controversial future plans were announced to rename the stadium The National Stadium after the World Cup for international football and rugby matches. This was resolved after a South Gauteng High Court decision that owing to a 2007 naming rights agreements with First National Bank, the stadium's name would revert to "FNB Stadium".
FNB Stadium underwent a major upgrade for the 2010 tournament, with a new design inspired by the shape of an African pot, the calabash. The South African main contractor GLTA, part of the Aveng Group in a joint venture with the Dutch company BAM who had a 25% stake, constructed the upgrade, which was designed by the South African architects Boogertman + Partners who brought Populous on board the design team once construction had started on site in February 2007. The upgrade included: an extended upper tier around the stadium to increase the capacity to 88,958, an additional 2 executive suites, an encircling roof, new changing room facilities and new floodlights. The number of suites in the stadium was increased to 195. Grinaker-LTA and BAM international won the R1.5 billion tender to upgrade the stadium. The construction was completed on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 and was marked by a huge celebration at the stadium.
The outside of the stadium is designed to have the appearance of an African pot; the cladding on the outside is a mosaic of fire and earthen colours with a ring of lights running around the bottom of the structure, simulating fire underneath the pot. No spectator is seated more than 100 metres (330 ft) from the field, and there are no restricted views in the stadium.
The stands in Soccer City are articulated by ten black vertical lines; nine are aligned geographically with the nine other stadiums involved in the 2010 World Cup. Because 9 is considered to be an unlucky number in South African traditional culture,Шаблон:Citation needed a tenth line was added. This tenth line is aimed at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, which hosted the previous World Cup final in 2006. This represents the road to the final and it is hoped that after the World Cup, each goal scored at the stadium will be placed in pre-cast concrete panels on a podium so that the full history of the tournament’s scores can be seen for years to come.
Before the upgrade, the stadium had a capacity of 80,000. The newly reconstructed stadium retains the original structure's west upper tier and entire lower tier (the lower tier was divided into two tiers). Шаблон:-
FNB Stadium served as the main venue for the tournament. It hosted the opening game, 5 other group games, a quarter final, a semi final, the 3rd place play-off and the final. The games were:
|Date||Team #1||Res.||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|1996-01-13||Шаблон:Fb||3–0||Шаблон:Fb||Group A (opening match)||80,000|
|1996-02-03||Шаблон:Fb||0–1||Шаблон:Fb||Third place match||80,000|
The stadium hosted the opening ceremony followed by the opening match between South Africa and Mexico, 4 other group stage matches, a Round of 16 match, a quarter-final and the final.
|Date||Time (UTC+02)||Team #1||Res.||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|2010-06-11||16.00||Шаблон:Fb||1–1||Шаблон:Fb||Group A (opening match)||84,490|
|2010-06-27||20.30||Шаблон:Fb||3–1||Шаблон:Fb||Round of 16||84,377|
|2010-07-02||20.30||Шаблон:Fb||1–1 (4–2 on pen.)||Шаблон:Fb||Quarter Finals||84,017|
The stadium has also been regularly used by the South African national football team both for friendlies and qualification matches. This has led to the stadium being seen as the de facto 'national stadium' for football.
The stadium has also hosted large continental club fixtures. It was the venue for the first leg of the 1995 African Cup of Champions Clubs final, between Orlando Pirates and ASEC Abidjan. The stadium has also hosted the CAF Super Cup twice. It hosted the 1994 CAF Super Cup, between Zamalek and Al-Ahly, as well as the 1996 CAF Super Cup between Orlando Pirates and JS Kabylie. In 2004 the stadium hosted final of the Vodacom Challenge, between AS Vita Club and Kaizer Chiefs.
The stadium regularly hosted football matches invloving Soweto based Premier Soccer League clubs, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The teams often host large scale matches at the stadium. It hosted the Telkom Charity Cup (in all of its forms) from 1990 to 2006, before it was closed for renovations. The Charity Cup then returned in 2010. The stadium also hosted the 2010 Nedbank Cup final, South Africa's premier football cup, this was the stadium's first event since re-opening. The first league match at the stadium since being rebuilt, was a 2010-11 Premier Soccer League match between Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars. The first MTN 8 match at the stadium was the first leg of the 2010 MTN 8 semifinal, between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
The stadium hosted its first rugby union match during 2010. It was the venue of the Tri Nations match between South Africa and New Zealand. New Zealand ran out 29-22 eventual winners to secure the 2010 Tri Nations Title on the occasion of South Africa's captain John Smit's 100th Test Cap. The attendance was a record of 94,713.
Irish rock band U2 played at FNB Stadium as a part of their U2 360° Tour on February 13, 2011 (attendance: 94,232 ). It was the first concert held in the stadium, and also the band's first concert in South Africa in over 12 years. Neil Diamond performed for the first time in South Africa with a kick off of his tour at the FNB Stadium on April 2, 2011, which was sold-out. The Kings of Leon will also perform for the very first time in Johannesburg at the FNB Stadium on October 29, 2011.