Soccer in South Africa is much more grassroots than cricket or rugby and has been very big in the townships for decades. Amateur games are played from March to September at many venues all over the peninsula. Professional games are played from October to April at Athlone Stadium, Newlands, and Cape Town stadiums.
Cape Town Stadium will hold 70,000 World Cup fans, is 15 floors high, and has 16 elevators, 135 VIP suites, and basement parking for 1,200 cars. The stadium footprint is equivalent to six city blocks. The facade is covered with an open mesh fabric that plays with natural light. The roof protects from weather, while also providing proper acoustics for future music concerts. The city also redeveloped the common around the stadium into an urban park and sports area with an additional 5,000 parking spaces.
Address: Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Cape Town
Fan Park: Grand Parade Fan Park, next to the central railway station and the end point of the 2-km Fan Walk leading to the stadium, will be the city's official fan park, a free public viewing area. From 10 am to midnight, fans can watch matches on large-screen TVs and enjoy entertainment, food, and drink. Additionally, the Bellville Velodrome (Northern Suburbs), the Athlone Stadium (Southern Suburbs), and the Swartklip Sports Center (Cape Flats) will show the Cape Town matches, semifinals, and the final match. These will also be free, and will offer the same amenities.
Match Schedule: Cape Town will host eight matches, including a quarterfinal and semifinal game. Matches take place on June 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, and 29 (all at 8:30); July 3 (at 4), and the semifinal on July 6 (8:30).
Safety and Security: The stadium and surrounds will have extensive video surveillance. On match days, police will patrol on horseback, bicycle, scooter, and foot. Police presence will be increased throughout the city and its fan parks for the duration of the tournament and private security firms will aid the South African Police Services. The stadium will also have its own security in and around the venue and in the fan parks. Tourism Ambassadors will be located in the airport, central city, fan parks, stadium, and key tourism sites to provide information and report suspicious activity. All tickets are marked with the name, passport number, and seat number of the ticket holder so that wrongdoers can be identified, arrested, and banned from future games.
Transportation: An integrated (bus-and-rail) rapid-transit system (IRT) is being created for the city, which includes dedicated lanes for fast bus travel and a shuttle between the airport and city center. Park-and-ride services will be available on match days (locations TBD), with parking bays in the city center and at the V&A Waterfront. Shuttles and trains converge at or near Hertzog Boulevard, the city's main transport hub; from here stadium shuttle buses will transport spectators the little over a kilometer to the game venue and back.
Information: 080/065-6463 Metrorail (transport), 021/487-6800 Cape Town Tourism www.capetown.gov.za/en/2010 or www.capetown.travel/2010.