The Largest Stadiums In South Africa

A public sport stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.
A public sport stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.

A stadium is a special structure that is used for concerts, theater, sports, and other events. These venues have a specific area for performers, usually a central stage or open field, that is surrounded by multi-level seating for spectators. Today, at least 50% of this place must be a permanent structure in order to be considered a stadium. The use of stadiums dates back to ancient Greece when they hosted the first Olympic Games. The use of these structures underwent a revival during the Victorian era when sporting events grew in popularity. Stadiums can now be found all over the world and offer local residents and tourists a center for entertainment. This article takes a closer look at the 3 largest stadiums located in South Africa.

Largest Stadiums In South Africa

Soccer City

The largest stadium in South Africa is Soccer City, located in Johannesburg. This venue, also known as First National Bank Stadium, has a seating for 94,736 spectators. Its construction began in 1986 and was completed in 1989 at a cost of around $440 million. The architects in charge of this project were Boogertman & Partners and Populous (then HOK Sport), who designed the outside of the stadium to resemble a traditional African cooking pot. The lights running along the bottom of the outside are made to look like cooking fire. One of the most famous events held here was in 1990 when Nelson Mandela gave his first speech after being released from prison. In 2010, Soccer City hosted the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.

Ellis Park Stadium

Ellis Park Stadium, located in Johannesburg, is the second largest stadium in South Africa. This venue, also known as Emirates Airline Park, has a capacity for 62,567 visitors. Construction here began in 1927 and was finished in 1928 at a cost of approximately $3.1 million. It underwent renovation in 20009 that increased its number of seats to the current amount. This park has been most famous as a stadium for rugby since it was initiated by, planned, and built for the Transvaal Rugby Football Union. The Ellis Park Stadium has also hosted soccer matches and cricket games as well as a number of famous concerts, including Whitney Houston (1994), Roxette (1995), Rolling Stones (1995), and Eminem (2014). On April 11, 2001, a stampede took place during a soccer game, causing 43 deaths and going down in South African history as the country’s worst stadium disaster.

Odi Stadium

The third largest stadium in South Africa is Odi Stadium, which is located in Mabopane. This venue has seating space available for up to 60,000 spectators. It was built in the late 1980’s as a multi-purpose sporting arena, with facilities for the following events: soccer, running track, tennis, volleyball, long jump, hammer throw, javelin throw, and other field events. It is most commonly known as a soccer stadium and has served as the home field for Garankuwa United soccer team. Today, this stadium also offers visitors a club house, caretaker house, press-room, VIP seating, and soccer training grounds.

The chart published below offers a complete look at the 20 largest stadiums located in South Africa.

The Largest Stadiums In South Africa

1Soccer City94,736JohannesburgGauteng
2Ellis Park Stadium62,567JohannesburgGauteng
3Odi Stadium60,000MabopaneGauteng
4Phakisa Freeway60,000WelkomFree State
5Mmabatho Stadium59,000MahikengNorth West
6Cape Town Stadium55,000Cape TownWestern Cape
7Moses Mabhida Stadium54,000DurbanKwaZulu-Natal
8Kings Park Stadium52,000DurbanKwaZulu-Natal
9Loftus Versfeld Stadium51,762PretoriaGauteng
10Newlands Stadium51,100Cape TownWestern Cape
11Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium48,459Port ElizabethEastern Cape
12Royal Bafokeng Stadium42,000RustenburgNorth West
13Peter Mokaba Stadium41,733PolokwaneLimpopo
14Mbombela Stadium40,929NelspruitMpumalanga
15Free State Stadium40,911BloemfonteinFree State
16Orlando Stadium40,000SowetoGauteng
17Johannesburg Stadium37,500JohannesburgGauteng
18Charles Mopeli Stadium35,000PhuthaditjhabaFree State
19Wanderers Stadium34,000JohannesburgGauteng
20EPRU Stadium33,852Port ElizabethEastern Cape

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