Goal.com World Cup 2010 Stadium Guide – Peter Mokaba Stadium

As the smallest of the host cities in South Africa, Polokwane has produced the Peter Mokaba Stadium, the venue that will host four first round World Cup matches.
City: Polokwane
Surface: Grass
Capacity: 46 000


Situated in Polokwane, previously known as Pietersburg, the capital of the football-mad province Limpopo, the Peter Mokaba Stadium is another newly built venue for the FIFA World Cup, replacing the old Peter Mokaba Stadium, situated next to it, after initial upgrade plans were abandoned in favour of a new construction.

The design of the new Peter Mokaba Stadium is based upon the iconic Baobab tree, with each corner of the edifice supported by enormous 'trunks', where the steel structure holding up the roof is anchored.


Peter Mokaba Stadium - Tried And Tested

The Peter Mokaba Stadium is complete and the people of Polokwane are excited to be a part of history as residents of one of the nine host cities of Africa’s first FIFA World Cup. Known as Africa’s City of Stars, Polokwane is the smallest of the host cities for this year’s World Cup, but their stadium is proof that they are going to be an important ingredient in the recipe for success for the 2010 event.

The stadium will host several first round matches in the 2010 World Cup. After the showpiece event, the Peter Mokaba stadium will become home to local football teams, showcasing a wide range of sports events including rugby union, which is popular in the area.

A comfortable stadium with an intimate feel, spectators will feel close to the pitch due to the design, and the open construction will allow those in the stadium to learn why Polokwane is known as the City of Stars.


The Stadium Will Host Four Matches

Facts

- The new stadium has 500 VIP seats.
- The VIP segment has its own entrance.
- Seats for 1,675 media representatives.
- Has an 800m² VIP reception area and lounge.
- Boasts world class offices and storage areas.
- Good parking for both player buses and officials.
- At least 1,126 workers took part on the project.
- The structure accommodates 40,000 fans, 5,000 VIPs and 1,000 officials.
- Guide centres are also housed nearby and at the airport.
- Didier Drogba made his international Ivory Coast debut at the old Peter Mokaba stadium in 2002 in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier which South Africa won 2-1.

History

The stadium holds an important place in South African history, as it is named after Peter Mokaba, one of the renowned sons of the struggle and emancipation of the country against the apartheid regime. Mokaba was born and raised in Polokwane (formerly known as Pietersburg) and was famed for his fighting spirit and leadership skills.

There is a smaller stadium next to the site of the current venue which was called the Peter Mokaba Stadium, but it was decided that a newly built stadium would be best for the 2010 World Cup, rather than upgrades to the old arena nearby, making the whole area the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex.


A Beauty In The Limpopo Night Sky

Getting There


Polokwane lies some 200km north of Johannesburg and is the gateway to the Limpopo province. Peter Mokaba Stadium is situated a few miles south of the city on the site of older Pietersburg Stadium adjacent to the Polokwane Sports Club and the Polokwane Game Reserve between the main N1 and R71 highways.

Buses provide the easiest way to get to the stadium, and the use of park and ride facilities would be best, as these would allow people to be brought to the stadium safely and comfortably. There is a rugby stadium only a few hundred metres away and that arena is likely to be used as a parking spot so that people who own or rent cars will be able to park near the stadium.

The Polokwane International Airport, also known as Gateway International, has been upgraded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Polokwane is located on the N1 highway and can be reached in a three-hour drive from Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport.


Polokwane Is Ready To Welcome The World

Plus and Minuses

Pluses

- The stadium design allows fans in the venue to enjoy the Polokwane sky, renowned for the amount of stars on show, whilst being close to the pitch thanks to the stands being set right alongside the playing surface.

- Gaining access to the stadium will be easier than in certain cities where the stadium is in the CBD, as the Peter Mokaba venue is located away from the more congested city centre.

- Polokwane is the gateway to a number of other countries in southern Africa - namely Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique - which means that this stadium is the closest to come to for fans from these other African countries to enjoy World Cup matches.

- It is expected to become Limpopo's prime venue for football and rugby union matches, political rallies and entertainment events for a long time to come, giving the region a stadium to be proud of.

- According to officials at the stadium, security measures have been properly resourced, capacitated and are in a state of readiness. The medical and emergency services have been improved in line with the requirements of the tournament.

Minuses

- Being the smallest of the host cities, it is the route with least public transport options to get there.

- Due to the smaller nature of the city, only four World Cup matches will take place in Polokwane.


Indoor Warm Up Pitch

Games To Be Played

Greece, Argentina, Paraguay, New Zealand, Algeria, Slovenia, France and Mexico will all play first round matches at this newly built state of the art venue. The France-Mexico game is one of the high profile matches earmarked for the city. Another mouth-watering clash will see Paraguay take on New Zealand, whilst an interesting encounter will see Greece go head to head with Argentina. Algeria will also square off against Slovenia at the arena.

To See More Pictures Of The Peter Mokaba Stadium, Click Here