Nelson Mandela Bay stadium to have test run

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Port Elizabeth - Residents living in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will soon get an opportunity to visit their local stadium earmarked for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, ahead of the event.

The municipality has planned an Open Day of events and activities for the residents which will take place on 7 June.

Gates will open at 11am and residents can get their free tickets on a first come-first served basis, at their nearest Compu-ticket.

"It will undoubtedly be the first major test for this facility especially since this is but one of several events planned before the official opening of the facility," said municipal spokesperson Kupido Baron.

At least 30 000 people are expected to flock to the stadium for a fun filled programmme which includes an extreme air show, a parade and a mini soccer match.

National artists like Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) and Nadine are also expected to entertain thousands expected to grace the occasion.

Other activities expected to take place at the stadium is the match between British and Irish Lions versus Southern Kings on 16 June.

The much-anticipated Vodacom challenge match between the South African soccer giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates is scheduled to take place on 23 July.

The move to allow people to get to know the stadium was welcomed by thrilled soccer fanatics who could not contain their excitement.

One soccer fanatic Sizwe Lamani said he was glad that the stadium was finally ready to host some major sporting events.

He feared that the city might end up losing hosting some soccer world cup matches next year since it could not host this year's FIFA Confederation Cup matches.

"This is a relief for all the soccer supporters across the province," he said.