FNB Stadium/Soccer City

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Soccer fans at the stadium. Photo courtesy Gauteng Tourism Authority

FNB Stadium, known as Soccer City for the duration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, is the largest stadium in Africa, with a seating capacity of almost 95 000. It is located in Nasrec, next to Soweto, west of Johannesburg.

Soccer City Stadium under construction. Photo courtesy Gauteng Tourism Authority

The stadium was built in 1987, but underwent major refurbishment ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. More than 80 000 cubed metres of concrete, 9 000 tons of reinforcing steel, 8 000 tons of structural steel and 120 000 cubed metres of soil were used in the upgrade, which saw the stadium rebuilt in the form of a calabash, a symbol of sharing and togetherness. The outside of the stadium is a mosaic of reds and browns, with a ring of lights along the base of the stadium lighting the perimeter.

FNB Stadium has an important place in South African history. The upgraded stadium was the first venue in Africa to host a match in a FIFA World Cup™ tournament. It was also the venue of the World Cup closing ceremony and final – a historic match that saw the Netherlands and Spain, neither of whom had ever won the trophy, pitted against each other. It also marked the first time in the history of the tournament that a European country won the World Cup outside of Europe.

The old FNB Stadium also played a central part in South Africa’s soccer history. It was the venue where South Africa’s national team, Bafana Bafana, lifted the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996. It also played host to some great “Soweto derbies” between the country’s two most popular rivals, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

In 2010, the revamped stadium hosted its first rugby match. A record crowd of 94 713 turned out to watch South Africa take on New Zealand and Springbok captain John Smit receive his 100th cap.

The stadium has political significance too. It will be remembered as the venue where former president Nelson Mandela was welcomed back to Soweto after his release from prison in 1990. It also hosted the funeral of South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, who was assassinated in 1993.

Today, the FNB Stadium is a unique architectural landmark in Soweto’s skies. It’s little wonder that FIFA has described it as “one of the most artistic and awe-inspiring football venues on the African continent”.

Admission

Cost: R80 per person for a group of up to 10. More than 10, R70 per person. Pensioners pay R70. Children under the age of six attend for free. A family ticket of R160 is valid for two adults and three children under the age of 16. School groups: R30 per child and R70 per adult/teacher attending.

Visiting hours

Tours are offered from Monday to Friday at 09h00, 10h30, 12h00, 13h30 and 15h00
Weekend tours are at 12h00 and 13h30

Directions

Soccer City is 12km west of Johannesburg central, close to Soweto