On July 11, 2010, nearly 95,000 spectators will be packed into Johannesburg’s Soccer City, which for at least a day will be the center of the football universe.
After 63 matches, seven of which will also be at Soccer City, World Cup 2010 will come to its conclusion at the venue that not only has the highest capacity of the tournament’s ten venues, but is also the biggest stadium on the African continent.
Along with having the honor of hosting the final, Soccer City will also be the site of the tournament curtain raiser on June 11, four more group stage matches, one round of 16 match, and one of the four quarterfinal matches.
In order to accommodate a multitude of football fans from far and wide, additions were made to Soccer City’s upper tier that increase the stadium’s capacity to 94,700.
With the increase in stadium capacity, it looks very likely that the 2010 final could have one of the highest attendances in World Cup final history. If Soccer City is indeed filled to capacity, it will have the highest attendance since an attendance of nearly 94,200 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the epic 1994 final between Brazil and Italy.
Having plenty of seats is one thing, but assuring that the people in those seats will be able to see the action is even more important, and that’s another area where Soccer City excels. Every spectator will be within 100 meters of the pitch, and better yet, there won’t be any restricted views.
One of the most interesting features of Soccer City has nothing to do with what’s inside the stadium, however. The stadium’s exterior is modeled after an African pot known as the calabash (also known as the bottle gourd, which can be used for drinking or food-related purposes), and as such, the stadium is nicknamed Calabash.
Adding to the aesthetics on the outside is a mosaic of fire and earthen colors, and there is a ring of lights that run around the bottom of the exterior, which make it appear as if there’s fire underneath Calabash‘s calabash.
See all 2010 World Cup Stadiums.