Soccer City 'the best stadium'

2009-10-22 09:05

Johannesburg - Wednesday was a proud day for the 2 500 construction workers who had built Soccer City in Johannesburg.

The workers had a braai as they celebrated the official roof-wetting - helped by the rain - and the start of the final completion inspections for the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium.

"I am so happy. This country now has a big stadium," said Witness Mgcani, 38.

Nyasha Marumure, 23, another builder, said he was very pleased with the stadium.

Finishing touches

"I am really proud to have been part of the workers who built the stadium," he said.

With 232 days left before the start of the Soccer World Cup, the stadium is basically finished, with only finishing touches still to be done. Floors are being tiled and paving outside the stadium has yet to be completed.

Construction started in February 2007.

Project director Mike Moody said he felt "fantastic".

"It is quite a job. When you come to the end of any job, the last couple of months are frustrating. Actually, I don't want it to be finished," he said.

'Best stadium in the world'

"We are all very proud of what we have achieved. Of course I am biased, but I think it is the best stadium (in the world)," he said.

Another cause for celebration on Wednesday, was that there had been no serious injuries leading to a disability in 1.7 million working hours.

The stadium, which will host the opening match and final, has 89 000 seats.

Despite concerns that some of the 2010 stadiums would not be sustainable after the World Cup, Barry Pollen, director of Stadium Management South Africa - the company which manages the stadium - said he was sure Soccer City would be sustainable.

He said it would also host events such as concerts and Christmas parties.