1. SOCCER CITY / FNB
Capacity: 94 700
Year completed: 2009
Every generation has its bogeyman. Someone to beat. For stadia in Africa as a whole, Soccer City is it. Pre-2010 World Cup, the ground literally used to shake with the fervour of supporters. After the makeover, the extra capacity just turned the volume up to stunning levels. If this stadium was a song, it would be a 1980s maskandi hit. There would be an acoustic guitar, a tambourine, maybe a little harmonica and certainly a lot of feel-good foot-stomping and clapping.
Soccer City is a masterpiece of unflinching realism. The outside of the stadium is designed in a hi-tech terracotta outer shell that is meant to resemble a traditional African earthenware pot. This is where the stadium’s nickname, The Calabash, derives from. Architects Boogertman & Partners and HOK Sport built and completed the stadium in 2009 at a fee of R3.3 billion.
Some of the important events that have been hosted here include Nelson Mandela’s first speech in Johannesburg after his release from prison, as well as the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final game between Spain and the Netherlands