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
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.
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.