If you are in South Africa, but you are not at one of the games, perhaps you should enjoy the festivities at the FIFA Fan Fests.
Entrance to the FIFA Fan Fest is free, with all 64 matches to be broadcast on giant screens in a safe and secure environment where rival fans can celebrate together and enjoy the beautiful game at its best.
This concept was highly successful during the previous World Cup held in Germany, where hundreds of thousands of fans made use of the fan parks to enjoy matches in a fun atmosphere surrounded by other like-minded individuals keen to enjoy the football festivities.
Ghana Fans Celebrate At A Fan Fest In Germany
During June/July 2006, more than 18 million fans gathered at the 12 official events and transformed Germany into one of the greatest fan parties of all time. The great success of the previous edition meant that South Africa would provide the same Fan Parks for supporters in the host nation, as each of the host cities will provide an official FIFA Fan Fest venue.
These venues will provide multiple food and beverage stores, an Official Shop, and entertainment between the live games to keep the crowds entertained and smiling.
On December 4, 2009 – the day of the eagerly awaited Final Draw – visitors and South Africans had the first opportunity to get a taste of what is to come in 2010 when Cape Town hosted the Long Street Festival for the Final Draw, which featured an official FIFA Fan Fest showcase event. See the video below, where Danish pop star Aleni Agami was present at the Long Street Fan Fest.
Johannesburg is a world-class African city and the main host for this year’s World Cup due to the fact that two of the stadiums are found there, and both the opening and final matches of the tournament will take place at the newly built Soccer City Stadium. As there are two stadiums, it makes sense that there would be two official FIFA Fan Fests in the city, and so Joburg provides one in Soweto and another in Sandton.
The Soweto Fan Fest will be located in the heart of the bustling township of Rockville, at the series of fields, which makes up the Elkah Stadium. Ease of movement to and from the Fan Fest will be provided by the Thokoza Park station of the Bus Rapid Transit System, and the Fan Fest will be able to host 40,000 people on match days, opening in the morning and entertaining supporters until late at night.
GPS Co-ordinates:26°15'51.93"S, 27°52'11.36"E
In Northern Johannesburg, fans will find the venue for the city’s second Fan Fest at InnesFree Park, Sandton. This park will be a fantastic place for fans to enjoy live entertainment and of course the matches with natural hills and water features providing stunning surroundings for the event. This Fan Fest area will also operate from mid-morning until midnight on match days, and is situated closer to Coca-Cola Park rather than Soccer City. The Sandton CBD provides plenty for one to do, with shopping complexes and restaurants found all around the Fan Fest, where 20,000 people can enjoy the atmosphere provided throughout the tournament.
GPS Co-ordinates: 26° 6'24.74"S, 28° 4'33.13"E
Situated at the heart of the stunning coastal city of Cape Town, the Grand Parade is the venue for the Mother City’s Fan Fest. Tradition and history is an important part of this area, which is surrounded by the Castle of Good Hope (South Africa’s oldest building), the Cape Town City Hall and the newly renovated Cape Town Railway station – while Table Mountain creates a stunning background for fans to enjoy.
Stage Being Set Up For Long Street Fan Fest
The area has been renovated in order to provide the 25,000 capacity crowd with state of the art sound and entertainment on stage before and after games. The venue is 2.6 km away from the Cape Town Stadium and will be open on match days from 11am until 11pm.
GPS Co-ordinates: 33°55'29.71"S, 18° 25'29.00"E
Durban has a great deal to offer travelling fans, with beautiful beaches and fantastic weather (warm even in winter), but if you are not at the stadium on match days, there is only one place to be – New Beach. The coastal paradise host city provides the only Fan Fest on the beach, so join 25,000 other fans in the sea and sun of Durban for one of the best places in the country to catch a World Cup match.
The stunning backdrop of the sea and the Moses Mabhida Stadium only 3.5km away means that you are enjoying the city’s best features while being so close to one of the world’s finest football stadiums. Open from the afternoon until late at night, make use of the beach atmosphere while trying out the delights of the promenade.
GPS Co-ordinates: 29°51'20"S, 31°02'23"E
Bloemfontein is located on the southern edge of the Highveld plateau at an elevation of 1400m and it is the country’s sixth largest city, but more importantly it is one of the nine host cities of this year’s World Cup. The City of Roses will keep supporters in the city entertained thanks to the FIFA Fan Fest at the Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre in the township of Rocklands, Bloemfontein. A fifteen minute drive from the centre of the city, the Fan Fest will give residents of the sports mad city a chance to welcome people from all over the world in South African style.
Dutch Fans At The Long Street Fan Fest
The Fan Fest will feature five-a-side football pitches for fans to enjoy, as well as the usual food and beverage spots in the 20,000 capacity area. The Fan Park may be 12 km away from the city’s World Cup stadium, but the atmosphere is likely to rival the Free State arena until the early hours of the morning.
GPS Co-ordinates: 29°11'23"S, 26°14'02"E
The host city of Nelspruit is blessed with some of the country’s most spectacular game reserves and of course the world famous Kruger National Park, offering visitors to the Mpumalanga Province a memorable time. Not far from the Nelspruit city centre, the Bergvlam High School will be the host for the city’s FIFA Fan Fest during the World Cup. An upgrade of its facilities is now complete, and the venue will provide entertainment for all who visit the Fan Fest, with 30,000 people able to enjoy the atmosphere at any one time. The venue will be open from 10am until late on match days, and is situated only 5km away from the Mbombela Stadium.
GPS Co-ordinates: 25°28'50"S, 30°57'59"E
The host city of Rustenburg is set to welcome the crowds come June, and those fans will be able to enjoy a FIFA Fan Fest in the area. Literally translated, Rustenburg means “A place of rest”, and interestingly enough it was established long before both Johannesburg and Tshwane/Pretoria. The Rustenburg Fan Fest will be held at the Fields College, a short distance from the city centre, where 20,000 people will be able to enjoy giant screens, entertainment, and multiple on-site activities, ensuring the perfect atmosphere for this festival of fans on all World Cup match days.
GPS Co-ordinates: S25°40'26.60"S, 27°13'27.64"E
Tshwane/Pretoria hosts the second largest number of embassies in the world, but in June and July this year the city will welcome the world and fans will be able to feel the football fever at the Centurion Cricket Ground, just outside the city where the FIFA Fan Fest will take place.
The Cricket Ground has been the host to numerous large sporting events in the past, and will no doubt be a successful venue in the city of champions for young and old to celebrate the beautiful game while enjoying entertainment throughout the day on match days. About 30,000 people can be accommodated there, and the fusion of African culture and food with that of countries from around the world, represented in this city by over 100 embassies will be something special to experience.
GPS Co-ordinates: S25°51'32"S, 28°11'39"E
Polokwane is situated in the Limpopo Province and is surrounded by three of South Africa’s neighbours: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Polokwane means “place of safety”, and at the Polokwane Cricket Club fans will be safe, happy and entertained on match days, enjoying the camaraderie and rivalry of the various fans who will make use of the facilities, situated only 1.2 km away from the Peter Mokaba World Cup stadium. Approximately 30,000 people will be accommodated at the Fan Fest, and they will experience days filled with World Cup fever and football will be the ultimate attraction.
GPS Co-ordinates: 23°55'12.66"S, 29°27'30.12"E
Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth
Known as the ‘Friendly City’, Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth’s FIFA Fan Fest will be held within St. Georges Park, which is the second oldest cricket stadium in the country. St. Georges Park lies in the heart of the city, an oasis of space close to the noise of the central business district. A natural venue for picnics, St. Georges Park has a host of facilities within the vicinity, including the Mannville Open Air Theatre, St. Georges Park Swimming Baths and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum.
The area will be able to accommodate 25,000 people on match days during the World Cup, opening at 11am and entertaining people until early the next morning. The venue is close to both the airport and the World Cup stadium, with 5 km separating the Fan Fest from each destination.
GPS Co-ordinates: 33°58’04”, S 25°36’38” E
International FIFA Fan Fests
Apart from the South African Host Cities, Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Sydney will be used as locations for the FIFA Fan Fest, the official public viewing events of football’s flagship tournament outside of the host nation.
Millions of fans are expected to watch the matches live at these events and experience the unique FIFA World Cup ambiance in these outdoor areas.
In South Africa, the FIFA Fan Fest will be organised by the Host Cities together with FIFA and the Local Organising Committee, with the International FIFA Fan Fest cities and FIFA taking responsibility for the international events.
Besides football, all cities will provide tastes and sounds of each of the countries through an all-day entertainment programme outside the actual broadcast of the matches.
No trip to South Africa is complete without a visit to its most beautiful and sunniest city. Durban offers much more than sandy beaches, safaris, casinos and the World Cup, for information on what to do and see, please click here
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