Moses Mabhida stadium ready to host the stars

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pretoria - Durban's R3.1 billion Moses Mabhida Stadium is complete and ready to host the world's football stars and thousands of fans who are expected to descend on the city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The 56 000-seater stadium, which took 32 months to build, has created 26 000 jobs and changed the look and feel of the city.

eThekwini's 2010 World Cup programme head Julie-May Ellingson said they're looking forward to showing off the iconic stadium and its systems.

"This world-class engineering and architectural feat is a true example of what can be achieved by team work, the sharing of skills and the collaboration between public and private enterprise."

Admitting that the project has not been without its own challenges, May Ellingson said "there is no doubt that each and every person who has worked on this project can stand proud and know that they have made their mark in history. "

The stadium is scheduled to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup five group matches, one second round match, one quarter final and a semi-final match.

It features a "sky car" able to carry 25 people at a time to its highest point, an adventure walk up 550 steps to the southern side of the 106-metre arch, a bungee swing across the pitch, and 24 shops which will attract visitors on non-match days.

This, May Ellingson said, will further help maintain the Moses Mabhida Stadium's financial sustainability.

"But because this is a stadium for the people, we have structured the cost of enjoying these features accordingly, ensuring they are sustainable but affordable. eThekwini residents will receive discount vouchers with their rates bill," said Ellingson.

Mayor Obed Mlaba said this was a great moment for the City. "It is a moment that fills me with a pride I know is shared by all the people of Durban. Because this is a stadium for the people, just as Baba Moses was a man for - and of - the people.

"The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the spur, but one of our main priorities was to build a multi-functional venue that would be the envy of other cities and benefit the people of Durban for years to come," Mlaba said.

The stadium's first official match scheduled for 29 November, Sunday afternoon has officially been sold out.

The Durban World Cup venue will host the local derby between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United and all 22 000 tickets have already been snapped up.