29 June 2009

The surrounds

Now that the stadium is complete, the emphasis falls on the landscaping and surroundings of the stadium. This is receiving much attention as we speak and is progressing well. Since my last visit to the stadium, for the British Lions match against the Southern Kings, there has been much progress including the completion of the entrances on Milner Avenue, Fettes Road and Prince Alfred Road, the erection of a palisade fence around the stadium precinct and the grassing of the slopes around the stadium.

27 June 2009

Bafana Bafana!

Well, well, well!! The Boys are back in town! What a performance against Brazil. We matched them in defence, midfield and attack. The guys were hard-working and played with their hearts on their sleeves. They truly deserve to represent this country. But what does this performance mean? What does this achievement mean for the country, for football in our country? It shows that the potential we have had all along is starting to be pieced together to form a brilliant mosaic. Pieces of individual brilliance were once scattered, they are starting to be brought together. One can liken the the evolution of a football team to the building of a stadium. The piles and foundations is the defence of your team. To be truly world class, your football team needs a rock solid defence. From their building can begin. The main skeletal structure is the midfield. This is the skeleton that defines your team. This is the structure of your team, the structure that allows you to add the final flashy finishes. The roof and all final touches is your attack, your strikers. They look the best, yet cannot exist without a foundation and skeletal structure. In Matthew Booth and Aaron Mokoena, we have a rock solid foundation. Midfielders – the likes of Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise, Siphiwe Tshabalala showed that they are world class in the performance against Brazil. We dominated them at times in midfield! The last facet is still under construction. It is strange how this analogy between our football team and a stadium and the current status of our stadia link up quite well. In Bernard Parker, we have a poacher, someone who can finish – the girders are in place. The cladding is not quite complete however. Despite creating many chances against Brazil – a feat in itself – we failed to take a lot of them. That is the last facet of your world class stadium/team. We need a big man up front. A man who has pedigree, who takes those long balls out of the air and can slam home corners. Bernard Parker is excellent on the ground, but his lack of size is a problem. The cladding of the stadium is, in my opinion, Benni McCarthy. He is playing excellent football in England. He has scored readily against the best and biggest defenders in the world. Through coaching and practice we will become clinical, we just need that second man up front to partner Parker. A man who can hold the ball up, a man from which Parker can feed, a man who can bundle his way into the penalty area, get free-kicks, penalties and score goals from corners. Benni McCarthy is the answer. He has had problems with the national setup, yet, the World Cup is bigger than him or SAFA. The World Cup is the country. If Benni  will not play for his country at his own World Cup, probably his last World Cup, then something is really wrong. I believe he wants to play for his country. I believe he is the last cog in world class machine, the cladding on a world class stadium.

23 June 2009

Confederations Cup

Some views of the 4 stadia in action for the Confed Cup. They are truly world class. All pics sourced from SkyscraperCity. Forumers who posted the pics have been credited.

Ellis Park.

Free State Stadium.

Loftus Versfeld.

Royal Bafokeng. All courtesy: Mo Rush

20 June 2009


Apologies for my quietness over the past week or so. Exam pressures have taken their toll over the last few days. I’d first like to start off with the Confederations Cup. The tournament has been pretty spectacular so far. All the teams have been banging in the goals and making for a feast of football. Bafana Bafana are on the brink of qualifying for the semis, but need a good performance against Spain to ensure qualification. Good luck to the boys in their encounter this evening. Then the Lions tour. The match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was an amazing contest, and it was a great experience to be there, soaking in the atmosphere. The stadium is world class and we were sitting in the upper tier – the best seats in the house in my opinion. Unfortunately, we took the camera to the game but left the battery charging at home so were unable to take any pics, hence the lack of a picture post from the match. Today of course is the first test between South Africa and the Lions. Let’s hope we can avenge the series defeat from 1997. Good luck to the Springboks!!

12 June 2009

Semi-final venues

Latest pictures of our two semi-final venues. Note the progress of the roofs, as well as the contrast between the two roofs. The Moses Mabhida roof uses no trusses or girders, it is fully supported by the arch. The Green Point roof has girders, however these girders are literally hanging off the compression ring. The base member of all 72 Green Point Stadium girders is a steel cable! A 4000 ton roof is supported by cables!!!

Moses Mabhida Masterclass. Membrane covering now well underway.

Green Point aerials. At the base of each girder, nothing is visible. The cable blends in well with background. It's almost as if the roof is floating above the stands.

All pics courtesy: Mo Rush

08 June 2009

NMB Stadium Open Day.

Below are snaps from the Open Day. It was a great event, a celebration of the opening of a world class stadium. More pictures from the first match to be played at the stadium next Tuesday between the British and Irish Lions and the Southern Kings (the latter's first official match) will be posted after the game.

05 June 2009

History of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

I haven't been able to post for a while now, exam pressures have taken their toll. I now however have some time to do a post. Sunday is the open day for the new World Cup Stadium. It is an absolute masterpiece. This is what you can expect at night matches in a year's time.

Yeah that's where we are now. Took my breath away too. She's an absolute beauty. Courtesy: Mo Rush.

But how did we get there. Where did things start? Well we've been tracking the progress of the stadium since the first sod was turned. What follows is a series of pictures starting in late 2006 to now. Enjoy the ride.

As can be seen from these pictures taken in May 2007, no concrete work has started as of yet. Piling is underway and earthworks are now practically complete. At this stage, no one could imagine the finished product would turn out as those first three pics show.

In 3 short months, 6 tower cranes have been erected. This marks the start of the main construction phase. Earthworks are over, piling is nearly complete and columns are now going up.

Into October and she's starting to take shape. First raker beams going in, as well as sections of moat. As can be seen in the 2nd last pic, the ground concourse is now also taking shape.

Into the peak period in December. 8 tower cranes in operation, close to 1500 workers on site, raker beams going in, seating elements being placed and columns sprouting like mushrooms.

Moving into the latter stages of the main construction period in early 2008. Seating elements going in place and 2nd tier now well underway.

Looking more and more like a stadium into May 2008. Second tier about a third complete.

July, and the bowl is forming.

Come the beginning of October, steel for the roof is in place, jigs are in place and the massive blue Kobelco crane has been erected. The beginning of roof construction is imminent.

Girders going up in December.

And now, all girders up, cladding and membrane practically complete.

The final chapter in these picture sets will be posted on Sunday, after the Open Day.